Teaching Baby to love Art



Baby loves to paint and glue and draw her hand print.  She loves to walk through museums and look at the exhibits (she definitely has her preferences).  Some of it comes naturally as her mom is a Museum Educator, and she has been hobnobbing with artists since she was in-utero.  The love of art is something that can be cultivated, and two artist friends shared ideas we are trying with Baby and wanted to pass on.

Idea #1: Hang it Baby height.  Lynette Pohlman, University Museums Director at ISU, suggested hanging great works of art (Baby’s and posters of other famous artists) at Baby level so that she can walk up to the art and really see what she is looking it.  As she walks down the hall, Baby pats Mona Lisa on the head (or tries to brush her teeth) and compares her hands to those in Michelangelo’s Creation.  Baby says splash while looking at The Great Wave off Kanagawa and waves at the girls in the Poppy Field in Argenteuil.  Amongst the famous pieces, she can touch and revisit paintings and art work she has created on her own.  The idea has been a great success.  Lynette said that as Baby grows, the artwork should also make its way up the wall, until it rests at the height adults view works of art.   I am hoping for a slow progression up the wall; Baby is already growing up too fast.

Idea #2: Make an art notebook.  Artist Joe Muench had a great suggestion that he did with his daughter.  When Baby makes art, even through elementary school, her mother or I need to write down her description of the art in her own words.  Then we would keep these special works in a binder, along with her description of the piece.  When she is older, it will be fun to look back at this book and see what her artistic mind was creating at a young age.

It is never too early (or too late) to have a passion for the arts!

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau

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MLK Day- National Day of Service with Baby

Baby is almost 16 months old, and we were trying to find ways she can start to participate in the National Day of Service for Martin Luther King Jr Day.  I started by looking at her interests and things she does well:

1. She loves to feed the dog and fish!  So, we could buy a bag of dog food (in a size she could carry) and have her carry it in to an animal shelter to donate.

2. She makes people smile when she waves and says, “Hi.”  We could get some cut flowers and have her hand them out and say, “Hi”, at a nursing home- or even at our usual lunch spot to make someone’s day.

3. She likes to put things away (and take them out again).  We could have her put food in a bag to give to the food bank.

It is never too early (or too late) to learn to help others and that we all need to contribute to our world to make it a better place.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

-Martin Luther King, Jr.



Baby’s Second Christmas

photo 3Baby’s second Christmas is filled with Santa and snowmen, hand-print trees and chocolate milk (and maybe a taste of Christmas goodies).  She can sign Christmas tree and says “Ho Ho Ho” when she sees Santa- just not while on his lap!  She is a little confused on snowmen as she thinks they “Moo.”  (I think this comes from her Aunt Brenda’s farm that actually had snow and cows!)  A must add from the store was a dog barking “Jingle Bells” (a holiday classic).

Jesus’ first “Christmas” was full of angels and shepherds, but he was probably a lot more fun on his second Christmas.  I wonder if the wise men tried to hold him on their lap, and if he cried “Mama”- that would be an interesting Renaissance painting!  Did he try to eat the frankincense?  (My Baby would definitely try it!)  Was he running around a-mile-a-minute and imitating animal sounds?  Were the three wise men “baby people” or did they just wonder what they doing there?

Christmas is about a baby and so much more fun with a baby!  Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  If you don’t have a baby, rent one!  Help a busy mom for a few minutes.  It will make you smile!


Baby’s Halloween Adventure

This wasn’t Baby’s first Halloween, but last year she was more an Anne Geddes model than a participant.  It was great fun this year with her love of pumpkins and wanting to touch glittery butterfly wings.  There were a lot of fun costume events throughout the month that made October a happy place.

A fun knock-off of Where’s Spot? was the soon-to-be Halloween Baby classic, Where is Baby’s Pumpkin?  In a few years, we can add watching “Hocus Pocus” to our October fun.

cvr9781416909705_9781416909705_lg.jpg (311×350)


Twilight Zone Toys

Fisher Price, in its effort to keep up with Baby’s love of things like cell phones and computers, has added an on-off switch to a lot of their toys.  Add batteries and the shape box can talk, stuffed animals speak in a sing-song voice, and the tea pot speaks in opposites.  The scary part is when these hunks of plastic and foam add “I love you” into their mechanical talking repertoire!  It’s almost as scary as clowns!  I can’t really figure why a box full of shapes would say that they love someone- very odd.

AND THEN, the Laugh and Learn Puppy started saying “I love you” out of the blue- no one was even in the same room!  I flash-backed to the scariest Twilight Zone episode of all time- The Living Doll.  Now, I’m afraid to put the Puppy back in the toy box, he sleeps on a blanket next to the toy box.  Fisher Price really needs to add a scare warning label to their toys that say, “I love you.”



Baby is One!

English: A birthday cake

English: A birthday cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first year went by so fast!  Baby has gone from a tiny nestling Thumbelina baby doll to a walking, talking, and sometimes squawking little bundle of personality and self-determination.  We went to Reiman Gardens to visit the butterflies for her birthday day- having had her party on the weekend so her uncles could attend.  Baby can imitate a butterfly’s noise (bet you didn’t know they made noise) as well as give butterfly kisses.  She brings joy with each hug and a sense of purpose with each smile.  Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

They say it’s your birthday:




Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

Antique Door Knob

Antique Door Knob (Photo credit: Jenn Durfey)

Baby got her first pair of walking shoes as she enters her new world of mobility.  Right now, she is very tentative about letting go of the finger she is holding on to, but those freedom steps are right around the corner.  As I walk with her down the hallway, I notice her longing when looking at door knobs.  Sometimes, she’ll stop and stretch as high as she can to see if the doorknob is in her reach.  I can see her little mind saying, “I can’t wait until I am bigger and can turn that door knob.”  Her imagination soars at the idea of what will happen when she turns the knob.   Isn’t it ironic how little ones (here I am including babies to teenagers) can’t wait to get bigger, older, etc, and those of us who have turned down the hill wish we had the energy we did when we were younger!

When I was little, my sister and I used to stay at our Great Aunt Hilda’s house when visiting family.  One day, she told me that I could go anywhere in the house, but whatever I did, I shouldn’t go in the hall closet.  Having just finished reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, I was sure this closet lead to magical places and adventures.  So, on my first opportunity, I swung open the door and jumped into the closet, fully expecting to land in Narnia.  Much to my pain, I fell down a flight of stairs, and was quite startled that there was no magic .  My aunt wasn’t mad; she said she should have explained why I couldn’t go in the closet.  I don’t know; that one split second, when I truly believed there would be a magical world waiting for me, might have been worth the fall down the stairs.