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Baby Steps: His Artistic Expression

You can offer your baby opportunities for artistic expression  -- even if you hate a messy kitchen and extra loads of laundry:

Sign up for a class. Let someone else come up with clever ideas for cute projects (and let someone else's table get destroyed!).

Think "modern art." If you can stomach it, let her smash and smear a little when she's done eating. She'll learn from the sensations, especially if you give her words at the same time  -- such as fingers and orange. (If you're ready to say "You're making me ill," this particular activity may be one you want to skip.)

Take it to the tub. Drop some color beads into the water and squirt shaving cream onto the walls of the tub. Give your sweetie a sponge, and let her explore the different colors and textures.

Go outside. Hand over bathtub squirters with different-colored water in each. Sit her on the sidewalk, and let her spray away. As she gets older, art can become a way for her to communicate her feelings and can teach her the link between symbols and concepts. Let her take pride in her work, and don't worry if it isn't museum quality  -- it'll be a family heirloom no matter what.