Should a just turned 12 month old be able to do/enjoy arts and crafts?

(44 Posts)
LoveYouForeverMyBaby Thu 22-Nov-12 11:55:05

I took little one to a playgroup and they had an arts and crafts station making Xmas decorations - gluing and glittering onto polystyrene baubles. I always try and expose her to crafty things but to be honest, she just doesn't seem interested yet. I thought maybe she's a bit of young and will just keep exposing her to it but not expecting too much.

She prefers chewing on things, banging toys, musical instruments, rough and tumble play, peek a boo games that sort of thing.

Anyway a helper at the group told me she was surprised little one was disinterested in and that there were babies younger than her joining in and doing arts and crafts.

She also said it was probably because I was too stressed and not giving her enough time and should b sitting with her and getting crafty everyday.

Now like I said I do exposé her to arts and crafts (stickers, crayons, paints etc) but largely they end up in her mouth so obviously I have to be sensible as to how much I push artsy play when she seems to enjoy (at the moment) other types of play.

I feel a bit upset about being told I'm not doing enough.

What are everyone's thoughts? Thanks.

Curtsey Thu 22-Nov-12 11:58:44


I think the world has gone mad. That is what I think! Your DD sounds like a perfectly normal delightful baby.

Curtsey Thu 22-Nov-12 11:59:54

Who is this person who told you that you are 'too stressed', by the way? And not spending enough time being 'crafty' with your daughter?

ChestnutsRoastingonaWitchesTit Thu 22-Nov-12 12:02:26

That's crazy! Besides the fact that most craft equipment isn't for use under 3!

My 22 month old isn't even into painting and crayoning yet (despite my best efforts). The only time I introduced him to glitter he had the most amazing jazzy nappy contents the next day!

MariaMandarin Thu 22-Nov-12 12:03:33

Far too young to be interested. Did the helper know how old she was? Also, a lot of helpers at toddler groups are kind old ladies who don't have a clue what's going on in my experience.

MainlyMaynie Thu 22-Nov-12 12:03:54

What? She's 12 months old. It would be a bloody miracle if she wanted to sit still for long enough to do crafts, let alone had the fine motor control for it!

helenovhull Thu 22-Nov-12 12:03:58

The 'helper' is clearly deranged. I'm sure there are a few exceptionally early developers who like crafts at 1 but most babies have another year at least of preferring to bang pans together and smear themselves with paint/nappy cream/Philadelphia cheese.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Thu 22-Nov-12 12:04:17

Thank you curtsey my gut feeling was she was a tad on the young side too.

She was a helper at the playgroup who I have never met before.

Also it was close to dd's nap so that's by I was rushing to tidy up and finish the arts project which she was watching me do. That was when the helper said she was surprised she wasn't joining in and not interested etc and it was my fault,. Made me feel like a crap parent!

BrianButterfield Thu 22-Nov-12 12:04:23

Crafts every day with a 12 month old? That's bonkers as conkers.

DS (15m) likes the odd scribble with crayons, and he's started to enjoy stickers, but painting I let nursery do and he just eats playdough or any crafty stuff. Let him wander round the room randomly banging stuff on other stuff, I say (or is that just my DS?)

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Thu 22-Nov-12 12:06:17

Thank you for confirming my thoughts everyone. maria she knew her age, I politely said "oh she's just turned 12 months I think she's a tad too young" and she said "oh no there are muh younger babies here that have enjoyed the station and showed an interest" I was upset and thinking but how??

helenovhull Thu 22-Nov-12 12:09:46

Tell her your dd is only interested in the fine arts.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Thu 22-Nov-12 12:11:07

Haha fine arts yes!

espanol Thu 22-Nov-12 12:11:21

I would tell that women to eff off (politely or not as the mood took me!) It';s one thing to suggest a child might enjoy it, quite another to say you aren't spending enough time with her because she doesn't!!!

Neither of mine were interested at that age. DD might have scribbled with a crayon but not in a meaningful or interested way. DS didn't get into crafty stuff until he turned 3 and even now is only really into drawing and colouring. DS got more into it at around 18 months and loves it now at 2.2

If you want ideas on stuff to do with her, mine did enjoy sensory stuff at that age. I wasn't brilliant at any of that parenting activity stuff, but squidging mud in their hands, playing with a bowl of soapy bubbly water worked, playing with leaves and pine cones. But even then not for long and very messy so I never bothered much!

But it's completely unnecessary at that age unless she enjoys it. The main thing is to make crafty stuff available (but you don't even need to do that at 12m - just as she gets a bit bigger) so she can do it if she wants it. Having crayons and paper lying around is all you need to do for now and then you can buy more stuff if she shows an interest.

yellowsubmarine53 Thu 22-Nov-12 12:11:41

What a strange thing for her to say!

At just turned one, one of my children may have let me guide their hand to stick one thing on a bauble before grabbing it and throwing it, and the other would have eaten the glue.

Your dd sounds quite advanced in the arts and craft dept to me!

I'll tell you what would stress you out - making a huge bloody effort to incorporate carefully varied and appropriate crafty things into every day!

Just say yours is more interested in "sensory play." That's very developmentally approriate. And vague.

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 22-Nov-12 12:14:36

My 18 month old spends most craft sessions wiping paint on herself or playing with the glue pen (!). I would say that its only in the past 2-3 months that she has put more crayon on the paper than in her mouth. She only gets truly excited when there is glitter about smile

OddFrog Thu 22-Nov-12 12:17:01

Madness! I'm all for letting little ones play with crafty stuff, but with no expectation of actually making anything. It's all about tactile experiences and enjoying making a mess at

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Thu 22-Nov-12 12:18:27

Thank you for the ideas espanol, I was thinking of maybe getting or making one play doh? Could that be a good suggestion for her age as well?

Thank you yellow, she seems to enjoy new things for a little while and will always grab hold of it and examine the new object, but as for enjoying gluing a bauble and putting glitter on it, it just seems a bit too grown up for a 12 month old and I would think requires a a good dealof dexterity and concentration.

The only kind of arts and crafts she seems to enjoy tend to be sensory boxes, or hand or foot prints or squelching different textures like spaghetti.

OddFrog Thu 22-Nov-12 12:19:06


...that age.

Play workers should know that! Nothing nicer than a good hairfull of glitter and a sticky smile. Even crayons should be tasted - it's a right of passage.

CindySherman Thu 22-Nov-12 12:19:46

Sounds Far too young to me. Proper Crafts for DD started at around 15-20 m . The woman is rude!

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Thu 22-Nov-12 12:21:33

Sometimes I wonder if I'm a bit slow on the uptake because I'm subconsciously trying to keep dd a baby (she's my pfb) but you've all reassured me. Thank you.

goralka Thu 22-Nov-12 12:21:38

play worker was undoubtedly quite bonkers - a lot of batty people seem to get into that kind of work, I do not know why, perhaps they enjoy making mothers feel bad or something.
Play-doh might be nice.....

Floralnomad Thu 22-Nov-12 12:22:43

IME at that age the only thing they do with craft stuff is plaster it all over themselves. So unless babies have changed a lot in the last 10 yrs yours sounds completely normal! Next week they'll probably be telling you she should be cooking her own dinner.

StrawberryMojito Thu 22-Nov-12 12:23:19

My 13 month old prefers eating crayons to drawing with them.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Thu 22-Nov-12 12:27:10

Haha to cooking her own dinner! Yes "what you mean you still make her food for her?"

wigglesrock Thu 22-Nov-12 12:27:32

There is a craft station at one of the groups I go to. The average age of a child playing at it is around 2-3. I have a 21 month old - a crayon eater. To be honest I never even gave my older children a crayon until they were about 18 months which they fed the teddies. I never had glitter in the house until playschool age. Tell her you're concentrating on phonics at the minute, crafts next term grin

Floggingmolly Thu 22-Nov-12 12:51:11

Daft mare. hmm None of mine were given craft stuff at 12 months, because they would have eaten it.

FredFredGeorge Thu 22-Nov-12 13:01:55

18mo DD is quite keen on making her own dinner - she appeared in the front room the other day with a 4" knife and was trying to job her strawberries up smaller. She can't reach the cooker yet though so I'm thinking a few more months until she can carry the stool in from the dining room...

Can barely wield a crayon though.

CecilyP Thu 22-Nov-12 17:00:43

No, just no.

That helper sounds absolutely bonkers.

On a more serious note, with a baby that young you have to be careful them putting small objects in their mouths, so they need to be watched around materials more suitable for older children.

Lucylucy57 Thu 22-Nov-12 18:56:02

I used to run an under 5's art group at a gallery and all we aimed to do was help introduce little ones to colours, textures, shapes etc. We made a lot of mess and noise and generally allowed the children to explore these things in an environment which they might not be able to do at home (e.g no carpets, curtains and furniture to ruin and we did the cleaning up!!) The play leader who told you this clearly has very little experience and you shouldn't pay attention. You sound like you and your child are having plenty of fun. If you want to add to your home 'arty' time, perhaps collect a box of ribbons, different fabrics, papers, feathers ( from a shop) that you can both play with together for some imaginative stories etc.

rrreow Thu 22-Nov-12 22:29:01

I think that's too young to have a concept of crafty things. My DS is 18mo and just starting to grasp painting/drawing as a concept (mostly because they have an easel with crayons permanently set up at his nursery). I'd say give your DD some months yet to show interest/understanding, but keep exposing her if its something you want to encourage her with.

SamSmalaidh Thu 22-Nov-12 22:35:25

My 27 month old has just started enjoying crafty things - he would do a bit of finger painting from 18 months but has only just stopped eating playdough (still eats crayons!). He's very normal.

Fuzzymum1 Fri 23-Nov-12 21:18:24

At 12 months the closest my boys got to was chewing on using a crayon to make a few marks on paper. They definitely weren't interested in much properly crafty until closer to two years old.

narmada Fri 23-Nov-12 22:08:22

Of course she should be interested in crafts at her age. I would be worried if she hasn't show any natural talent for origami, papier mache modelling, or calligraphy or similar by now. Both my DCs were selling their artwork by that age grin....

What a fruit loop the play worker sounds. Perhaps she is stressed and out of her depth and that's why she feels the need to make snide digs, or maybe she is completely insensitive to other human beings and has no sense of social appropriacy. Or maybe both.

It ain't you or your baby, that's for sure!

PerchanceToDream Fri 23-Nov-12 22:22:04

No way did DD have the attention span to do anything like that at 12 months, now at 21 months - just about.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 23-Nov-12 23:35:26

She didn't strike me as stressed in any way narmada, I didn't even ak her opinion she just butted in looking very concerned and expressin her surprise at dd not joining in at the crafts station and when I said "oh she's probably just a at too young" she was very insistent on telling me "no no there were babies much younger than her joining in the projects". Dd is my only child so even though my gut instinct was that at just turned 12 months it as too young to be showing an interest in gluing glitter too baubles (in my opinion that seems like a pretty intricate project as well, I would expect her to start off showing an interest in something like finger painting perhaps?), I still doubted myself in case I was treating dd too baby-like and wondered if she indeed should be showing an interest. So glad mners confirmed my initial thoughts, was starting to feel like I was doing something wrong!

TheEnthusiasticTroll Fri 23-Nov-12 23:41:57

Bonkers, my dd from an early age was very much into arts and crafts but at 1 the best we managed was a whole lot of mess with glue water and glitter on paper most ended up on her siting and sticking with Preston on a bauble would be way beyond most children that age, they just would not grasp the whole point.

TheEnthusiasticTroll Fri 23-Nov-12 23:42:29

Not glue that should be water flour and glitter

RandallPinkFloyd Fri 23-Nov-12 23:55:13

Blimey, another parenting fail for me then.

DS is 15mo and it's never even occurred to me to even give him a crayon let alone crafty time.

Here was I all smug with his progress with his stacking cups blush

Bugger me. I don't have a clue what I'm doing I really don't. He just sort of bumbles around playing with toys.

op you clearly have more of an idea than I do so carry on as you are!

narmada Sat 24-Nov-12 00:06:48

PS all this stuff about doing improving developmentally-appropriate things with kids - ballet, craft, baby signing, whatever: my mum is horrified and claims it's completely unnecessary and often about the parents. I have this sneaking suspicion she is at least partly right. Left to their own devices a bit, kids can find their own interests - even quite little kids at that. It is quite nice to take your lead as a parent from the child and their interests rather than forcing them into a developmentally-'appropriate' activity.

DoIgetastickerforthat Sat 24-Nov-12 00:25:27

I'm laughing at the notion of '^much younger babies^' doing craft. A newborn doing a paint-by-numbers Mona Lisa, here... a 4 month old decoupaging a picture frame, there...a 6 month old attempting a Tracy Emin inspired installation with their pushchair and favourite blanky!

The woman is a fruit-loop and needs to be totally ignored.

Welovecouscous Sat 24-Nov-12 00:30:41

What absolute tripe that helper is talking. angry and sad

NapaCab Sat 24-Nov-12 03:32:44

If I put my 13 month old at an arts and crafts table, he would eat the crayons, rip up the sparkly paper, throw the felt pieces on the ground and then proceed to try and drink the glitter - so, no, your 12 month old sounds totally normal and the play she enjoys sounds normal too.

The playgroup assistant you spoke to, on the other hand, sounds totally nuts! Even she had noticed your DD was different to the other kids then it would be rude of her to comment, especially on a personal level. It sounded like she was trying to needle you from what she said. It also sounds like she was lying as there's no way I could imagine a 12 month old or any younger doing arts and crafts! At the playgroup I go to, the assistants think it's a big deal if the 1 year olds manage to sit on their chairs without falling off...

Just ignore, ignore, ignore and don't take your DD there again unless she enjoys it or the rest of the staff aren't so bad.

CecilyP Sat 24-Nov-12 10:02:59

Actually, though we have all seen the funny side of this, the helper was really overstepping the mark in what she said, and you might wish to complain to whoever runs the playgroup.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now