Little beansprout art / by Christina Rosalie

We've been doing a lot of art lately. Bean often asks to paint, and I've been offering him various mediums--letting him be as much a part of my creative process a possible. First off, I've discovered that finger painting is much more fun if you put the paints into a cupcake tin. Bean loves to use brushes to mix the paint--he's almost more into that than putting it on the paper. But he also loves to get his hands in it. "Splat! Splat!" he says as he puts his handprints all over the page.

We also had fun exploring splattering with a brush. I showed him how to flick the brush across the page, and he had quite a lot of fun flecking page after page.

Finger paints are fun, but I find them to be rather messy in general, so I've explored letting Bean use water color paints instead. I have an old tray of watercolor paints I've used forever that I let him explore with. Once I showed him how to dip his paintbrush in water and then wet the tabs of paint, he became quite adept at it. Here is one of his more recent creations. Watercolors allow him to add layers of paint without having the pigments all mix together to into a dull shade of goop. They're also easy to wash off--and most colors come out of clothing entirely (stay away from some of the darker blues--ultramarine and cobalt in particular.)

The great thing about having Bean do watercolor art, is that I can use his work for the backgrounds for little pieces of my own art. I love this collaboration, and how his wild brushtrokes make me less concerned with details and more inclined to just have fun and play with the piece I'm creating. Today we broke out the stamps. He had fun with those too--learning quickly how to put them correct side down on the stamp pad. Then he surprised me by starting to sing the Alphabet song! The kid never misses a beat.

Lastly, something we've had a lot of fun with is collage. We look through magazines together an he tells me which pictures he wants me to cut out. After I've cut one out, he glues the back of it and then puts it into his notebook, exclaiming "YAY!" after each time he's successfully secured it in place. I was surprised he was able to manipulate the gluestick independently, but after being shown how to turn the paper over, and glue the back, with a little practice he was a pro. The best part of this activity was getting to see which images catch his eye. He loves animals and wants to hug and kiss the pictures we cut out of them. So much fun!