A baby's ability to participate in crafts, especially between the ages of 6 to 8 months, proves limiting. Age-appropriate crafts for infants typically include the use of hand prints, fingerprints and footprints. However, an infant's exposure to such crafts gives him his first chance to explore textures. Participating in crafts with infants provides opportunities for infants and adults to interact, which helps improve bonding and self-esteem at an early age.
Purchase Plaster of Paris from a craft store. Mix it according to the directions on the packaging and pour it into a round plastic lid or bowl. Line the lid or bowl with petroleum jelly before pouring in the mixture for easy removal once the plaster dries. Gently place the baby's hands into the Plaster of Paris until an indention forms around the baby's hands and fingers. Pull the baby's hands away and clean them immediately and thoroughly to prevent accidental ingestion. After the plaster dries, sand the edges for a smooth finish. Either leave the project as is or paint the baby's prints blue, pink or whatever color you choose. Display the prints on an easel or apply a hook to the back for hanging.
Create another type of memento by painting the baby's hand with tempera paint and placing her hands on a pillowcase, T-shirt or hat. Add a short sentiment and date. Keep the craft for yourself or give it to a grandparent for Mother's Day, Father's Day or a birthday gift.
Fingerprint Votive Candle Holder
Obtain glass votive cups or clean baby-food jars. Dip the baby's fingers into tempera paint and place his prints onto the jar. Add a date and occasion and allow the craft to dry. Glue a ribbon around the top if desired. For a winter snow scene, place the baby's fingerprints onto the jar in sets of three, one just above and touching the last, to create the image of a snowman. Add white paint around the bottom of the jar for snow. Then add features such as a hat, eyes, nose, buttons and stick arms to the snowman.
Cut card stock into small white squares, about 3 inches by 3 inches. Place the baby's thumb into yellow paint and press it onto the card. After the paint dries, use a black marker to add stripes and wings to create a bumble bee. Add a strip of glitter around the edge and tie a ribbon to the top. Add the baby's name and date for a Christmas ornament. Use the same procedure but with different colors to create thumbprint ladybugs, butterflies and other critters.
Footprint Snow Scene
Obtain black or navy blue T-shirts or sweatshirts or complete this craft on a large sheet of black or blue paper. Any size works fine as long as the baby's footprint fits. Brush the baby's foot with white fabric paint. Then press her foot gently and evenly onto the material with her toes pointing down. Her toes becomes the snowman's feet. Allow the footprint to dry. Then, with a small brush or bottles of fabric paint, draw on a hat, eyes, buttons and stick arms. Use silver glittery fabric paint and white fingerprints to add snow flakes. Either draw or glue on strips of fabric for a scarf. Add the baby's name and date.
- smile baby image by Pavel Losevsky from Fotolia.com