Baby Green Bean — Brushstrokes for Baby

September 18, 2008

Marla Olmstead has taken the world by storm with her abstract genius. What more wonder can a child experience than that with a paint and canvas? Or crayons and paper? Or any type of medium?

Well, while we love and encourage our tots to express their artistic selves, we should remember that we don’t want to expose them to anything harmful at the same time.

Up to 36 billion pounds of toxic acrylic polymer solvents, which is found in many traditional art supplies, are produced every year! Many standard art supplies emit asthma-inducing chemicals; so pick those that don’t contain ammonia, formaldehyde or turpentine, especially since supplies can, and usually end up in or near kids’ mouths.

It’s easy to encourage your petit artiste to make masterpieces with food-grade veggie-paints and non-toxic supplies.

Some to try:

Nuno Finger Paint – four colors of food-grade finger paint; for ages three and up ($25).
Stockmar Modeling Beeswax – great alternative to polymer clay, which contains PVC; six colors, for ages four and up ($15).
Paint A Poster Books – veggie-pigment paint-by-numbers series with dinosaurs, fairies, and sprites; for ages six and up ($5).
Prang Soybean Crayons – four-color box of soy (rather than petroleum) wax crayons; for ages four and up ($1).
EcoArt Works – eco art supplies for both kids and adults (prices vary).
If you think that organic finger paints are too costly, try making some of your own! Making finger paints can be just as fun as painting with them.
Home-Made Paints
1 cup of cornstarch
1/2 cup of water
1/3 cup of grated soap (choose your favorite plain organic bar soap)
1. Melt grated soap flakes into a half cup of boiling water.
2. Add cornstarch.
3. Blend well and put aside. Allow mixture to thicken.
4. Divide into small containers and add coloring.
Natural colorings can be derived from the juice of frozen berries, beet juice, tea, onion skins (boiled) or other natural sources. Mix colors to create new ones and have fun with this part of the mixing process. Now you have a safe paint for your children to play with that is also very budget-friendly! Store this paint in the refrigerator. It should last about a week.



2 Responses to “Baby Green Bean — Brushstrokes for Baby”

  1. Aïcha Sebaa said

    this is awesome; great post!
    my mommy used to make our play dough and paint when we were little tots 🙂

  2. Angie said

    That looks like an OCD cleaning person’s nightmare…

    … not that I’m OCD or anything 😉

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