One of the easiest crafts to make, painting wooden letters (or shapes) is a dream come true for anyone under the age of two. The shape is already there. All it needs is a little color. For this craft, I confined Mateo to the high chair, poured a few colors into a Tupperware container and offered him two paintbrushes before placing two letters at a time in front of him and letting him go to town. Easy peasy.
Mateo loved the freedom of being able to paint with abandon. I loved the fact that he (and his mess) was confined to his high chair and the wooden letters dried nicely and made for a lovely hanging piece in his room. I will note that he could not care any less about the fact that his name is hanging in his room if he tried. In fact, his favorite parts of the activity were swinging the letter “O” around on his arm and painting his belly. In between the toddler antics, I saw moments of focus that warmed my heart. While he clearly had a blast playing, he took equal pride in painting the actual letters. Once a letter had been sufficiently painted – or he started losing interest – I swapped it out for the next. Once all the letters had been painted, I gave him some scrap paper and let him dig his fingers into the paint and revel in the textures and colors.
- Wooden letters (mine were bought at Walmart for 80 cents each)
- Washable paints
- Set out three colors of paint. I generally pour the paint into Tupperware because of the ease of cleaning. One thing I will caution when choosing the colors to offer up – choose those that mix well since you will likely end up with a hodgepodge of colors combined into one.
- Hand your child two letters at a time and a paintbrush. Allow them to paint until the letter is sufficiently colored and then swap out for the next letter. Allow them to paint other surfaces (like their stomach or the paper underneath the letters). This is supposed to be fun for them. Don’t force them to stay “on task.” Redirect periodically back to the letters and let them create.
- Place letters out of reach (and sight) to dry before displaying.
- Sit back and marvel while your child displays a complete lack of interest in what you’ve displayed. Again, this might just be the case in my house.