By - Ana Ashton, MA, LPC, RPT Guest Blogger:
As an Infant Mental Health therapist I often found myself working with parents who had a hard time engaging with their infants for a variety of reasons.
One of the fun techniques I began using was feet painting. This activity allowed for the parent to watch their infant engage in something new, explore a new texture and to delight in their child.
Wet and dry paper towels-for clean up
First remove the infant’s pants and socks, leaving the diaper on. Place the infant in an ExerSaucer® the model with a base. Then place wax paper, wax side down, on the ExerSaucer® base using tape to secure the paper in place.
Using any color paint you desire, I prefer the primary colors of yellow, blue and red, put a small amount (about 1 inch in diameter) on the base. Allow the infant to use their feet to start painting.
If this is the first time the baby is painting with their feet, encourage the parent to gently move the infants feet around in the paint. Some infants enjoy this activity, others are slow to warm up, while some simply do not like the sensory experience.
Due to the many varieties of reactions, the therapist can support the parent in learning their baby’s nonverbal cues, while delighting in their child’s exploration.
She is a graduate of the 2012 Leadership Academy of the Association for Play Therapy (APT) a member of the 2012 APT Public Awareness Task Force and a 2014 member of the Parents Corner Committee. Ana currently serves as the Director-At-Large for the Michigan Association for Play Therapy.
Connect with Ana on her Facebook Page and on her Web Site.