This activity is easy to make at home and is excellent not only as an art activity, but also as a way for babies to practice their fine motor skills, as they paint over, under and around an uneven surface. At our CEFA Early Learning schools, it is also a part of our writing curriculum for one year olds.

Best Ages for This Activity

One to three

How to Make It

You Will Need

  • All kinds of recycled materials, preferably made of wood, cardboard and paper.
  • A flattened box or other cardboard to use as the base (where you will glue the recycled items to paint) – you can also not flatten the box and instead, glue your items all around and on top of the box, so your child can make a three-dimensional art piece.
  • Any paint
  • Paintbrushes and containers

Let’s Get Started!

  • Invite your child to make art
  • Start by gluing the recycled pieces onto your cardboard or box. If the pieces are large, you can use a stapler.
  • Once you are happy with your structure, invite your child to paint it
  • If your child is very young, demonstrate by painting together. Make sure you paint inside and spaces, around, on top, and literally paint every angle of each recycled piece. As soon as your child is comfortable painting on their own, just watch and let them paint.
  • Let the painting dry

Learning Opportunities

This is a fun visual arts activity for your child. It is also magical to look at, and a great way to experiment with texture. It is also good fine motor activity, a precursor to writing.

As I like to teach our CEFA Early Learning schools Teachers, the purpose of visual arts is to invite your child to express themselves, to bring the inside-out. Your child will discover themselves, the beauty they are capable of expressing through art, and that is an amazing thing to witness – enjoy every moment of it!