Zoey’s Art began with Zoey’s first birthday. At the time, the trendy thing to do was a first birthday cake smash, but I just didn’t feel like that was for us. I personally try to keep sweets and dyes to a minimum, so suddenly introducing them to a birthday cake seemed like a bad idea. I also didn’t like the idea of wasting a cake. I wanted something that I could keep and remember for years to come.
That’s when I came up with the idea to do a First Birthday Paint Party! I chose painting because art has always been a big part of my life. My father is an artist, and over the years I have taught art classes at the University of Oklahoma and my church. We used Eco-Paint, which is edible and safe paint for creative play. It is handmade with natural and organic fruit, plant, and vegetable extracts from annatto seed, beets, carrots, curcumin, purple sweet potato, red cabbage, spinach, with flour, cornstarch, wheat paste, and earth clay.
I dressed Zoey In a tie-dye outfit that I was comfortable with getting paint on it, and took her outside. I set up her activity area using brightly colored foam mats, a canvas, and Eco-paint and just let her go. She investigated the colors and texture of the paint as she painted her canvas. It was clearly a new sensory experience for her, and it was one I let her have on her own with no direction. My job as she painted was simply to take pictures.
Our children grow up so fast, and like any other mother, I just wanted to capture that special moment forever. Today, that canvas and the pictures from that day still hang on the wall in our home. Zoey is much older now, and her projects are more in-depth, and because of that Zoey’s Art has grown along with her. Even as we grow and offer new things, I will always be able to look back on her old projects and pictures and remember the day she made them with love and nostalgia. I hope that you too can capture the moments with me.