Vegetable stamping is my first art and craft experience with Gwen, at 11.5 months. This had been on my list of activities to try with Gwen because it sounds like a whole ton of fun, even to me.
Because this painting activity doesn't require a traditional painting brush, it's perfect for young toddlers who are still refining their motor skills and practising their grip. All that's required is the creation of a vegetable stamp, which can be sometime leftover from dinner preparation! I used bak choy, which is a common ingredient for our Asian-style meals. The cross-section base of the bak choy vegetable looks like the petals of a rose, and the bak choy soaks up "paint" really well!
As Gwen puts everything into her mouth these days, I used her smoothie juice as "paint" so it's not only totally safe for consumption, it's nutritious! For older kids who're past the oral exploratory stage, you could use food coloring or non-toxic paint.
Recommended age to try this painting activity: 11 months + (Parental supervision required)
To prepare for this vegetable stamping activity, you will need:
- Stem of a bak choy vegetable (celery and okra works too!)
- Juice/smoothie of a thick consistency as "paint" (I blended blueberries, raspberries and mangoes)
- Tape paper on the floor
- Pour the juice/smoothie in an easy-to-access bowl or container
- Demonstrate the activity so your child can learn through observation
- Put the vegetable stamp into your child's hand and guide her to dip it (correct-side) into the "paint" before stamping onto the paper
- Repeat a few times so your child gets the idea and can attempt it on her own
My little artist was really intrigued by the process of stamping on the blank paper and watching it change colour. She tasted both the bak choy vegetable and the "paint" (yay to everything being safe and edible) and when I didn't stop her she took it as a cue to paint the town red hahah.
Given how much fun Gwen had with this simple activity, we'll definitely venture into more art and craft projects together.
Repeat of this Activity as an Older Toddler
At 16 months, I repeated the same activity with not-as-little Gwen. Now that she no longer mouths things, I used washable paints instead of juice.
The difference then and now is pretty stark - it is plain obvious to me that she's gotten more creative with expressing herself with art materials and exercises deliberation when it comes to choosing the colour to use. At this age, she is increasingly more recognisant and aware of differences in colours and that shows!
Apart from using the vegetable stamp, she did finger-painting, all on her own accord, without guidance! I love how she can now engage in free play and seems to know exactly what to do (which is probably the result of collective, similar art experiences!)
To follow Gwen's play adventures, check out @miraculove_sg (Instagram) or A Toddler Activity A Day Facebook Group.
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.