Hello! I’ve been very quiet this summer – work was busy, we’ve been on holiday (post to follow once I’ve caught up!) and life in general keeps getting in the way, so I allowed myself a summer holiday from blogging. Now the leaves are starting to turn and the nights are starting to get cooler, however, my urge to blog has returned.

Frida has been really interested in art materials recently, so I thought I would share with you what she has on her art shelves. I took the bold (crazy?!) decision to allow her free access to her art materials, in order to truly “follow the child” and be as child led as possible with our activities. 

In practice this is working out ok, although her favourite art materials by far are her paints, which also happen to be the messiest. She often decides she wants to paint, so I am learning to try and let go a bit and just go with it. Pre-breakfast painting? No biggy. You’ve just had a bath and you’re clean and you want to paint? That’s great! We’ve got guests arriving soon? Ok! 

I’m trying to gently remind her that when she wants to use her art materials it’s good for her to do so 1) at the table and 2) using paper! We are slowly getting there. 

The paints we currently use are these “squeeze and brush” paints. They have easy to remove lids and there’s no need for water or brushes which make them perfect for infants and toddlers. They are lovely bold colours too which make for fab paintings. 

We also have on her art shelves:

Coloured pencils. These are simple, thick ones from IKEA I think. 

Felt tips. Ditto! She also enjoys taking the lid off the jar and putting them in and taking them out.

Stockmar wax crayon blocks. We love these. They smell so good, are a great size for little hands, and come in beautiful colours. I very much recommend them.

Stamps! Frida has still not quite got the hang of how these work yet, but she’s close. She seems to also like sticking her fingers in the ink pad…

Stickers and sticker books. To make it easier for her I have peeled the backing away from her stickers so that she can peel them off by herself. She seems to really enjoy them.

We’ve put up lots of her paintings and drawings – it’s her space after all! And she also has a blackboard with chalk available to her

I’m really enjoying watching her working with her art materials and hope that this is the start of years of creativity!

Posted by:Eloise R

12 replies on “Art shelves at 16 months

  1. This is a great post, thanks for sharing which materials are working for you both. My daughter is almost 19 months and we’re only just getting into art really. We have a chalkboard, crayons and finger paints and I wasn’t sure which materials to try adding next. The paint pens and beeswax blocks look great, I think we’ll try these next!

    I also love the art space you’ve created. We have the same ikea table! I haven’t been brave enough to set out art materials on shelves (except for chalk) however you’ve inspired me to try it.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it, thank you! I’m sure she’ll enjoy the paints and the crayons, they are so toddler-friendly. Let me know how she gets on! X

      1. Hi Eloise

        Our art set up has really evolved after reading your inspiring post! We’ve added an easel from Ikea with the legs cut down to toddler height and I found some solid poster paint sticks (made by Playcolor) which Ruby loves to use and requests to paint with daily! Ikea colouring pencils are also a big hit.

        I’d really recommend the solid poster paint sticks if you don’t have anything similar, they are so easy to get out and use and wash from hands and clothes etc really easily.

        Happy painting!

      2. Hi Eloise

        I thought I’d share an update on how we’re getting on! We’ve now set up an art space with an easel from Ikea (legs cut down to toddler height) next to the Latt table and we have chalk, crayons and colouring pencils out to use at any time along with paper, stickers and colouring books.

        I found some fantastic solid poster paint sticks by Playcolor which Ruby adores and asks to use them daily at the moment. They are really vibrant colours, so easy to get out and use and very washable, it comes off hands, surfaces, clothes etc really easily. I’d really recommend these if you don’t already have something similar.

        Happy painting!

  2. Hi Eloise

    I have been following your blog for the last few months and will admit it’s really an inspiration for a new parent. I know this is an old post but I was thinking of introducing art to my 10 month baby girl. Recently at the local library she saw some children drawing and was keen on holding the pencils and observing.
    Is 10 months too early? If not what materials would you recommend for her age.


    1. Ahh how lovely! I don’t think it’s too early to introduce her to art materials, especially if there’s no expectation. GALT squeezy paints are quite good for infants as they are easy to use (be warned she might get messy!), I also really like Stockmar block crayons as they are easy to grasp. You could also make simple “finger paints” from food colouring and cornflour with some water. Let me know how you get on! Thank you so much for reading xxx

  3. Hi Eloise
    Your post inspired me to create an art and craft corner for my son, 15 months now. Can you please let me know where are the furniture form (table and shelf)? Thank you that would be so helpful!!!

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