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The experiential colour workshop for babies

Children’s Culture Centre Kruunupää, Finland

A memorable journey to a multi-sensual world for the whole family

The Experiential Colour Workshop for Babies is a visual art workshop designed for families with a baby. The workshop starts with observing and exploring art, colours, light and several materials producing their visual expression. The workshop offers a multi-sensual, interactive, memorable, and expressive play. Traces of visual gestures and activities by babies are considered significant. Colour Workshop for Babies is intended to support the diverse interplay between the baby and adult. It’s a collective experience focusing on the baby.

The main goal of a workshop isn’t achievement or efficiency but sensing and experiencing. The Experiential Colour Workshop for Babies contains many pedagogically developmental elements, that stimulate mobility and support early interaction, and that are therapeutic. However, above all, it’s about visual enjoyment and pleasure experienced by considering all the senses. The concept has been applied to people of all ages, from babies to the elderly, to support diverse interaction and bring the insightful world of art closer to everyone.

Colours and textures

The workshop starts as one group, from the same point and with the same materials, but the progress depends on each child’s temperament, interests, and energy. Materials are explored with curiosity, with fingers and toes always open to a new colour. The action is based on using safe materials in a safe environment. Paints and pigments are made in different ways from specially selected plant products such as different vegetables, berries, and fruits.

The petals of blue flowers float down light as a breeze on the paper, gripping the living surface of the painting. Pori Centre for Children’s Culture Kruunupää, has been cultivating for example corn flowers as a safe blue painting material for babies since 2018. Every material used in the workshops is planned individually for each time knowing their origin, and to serve each age group and workshop ideas best.

Värimyrsky värikylpyperjantai-workshop 2022. Photo: Merilii Simonen

Past and future

The workshops were started in 2003 by Pori Centre for Children’s Culture and Pori Art Museum. The Experiential Colour Workshop for Babies is based on the method developed by Päivi Setälä, the director of Pori Centre for Children’s Culture, with the workshop mentors. Pori Centre for Children’s Culture organises further education about the Experiential Colour Workshop for Babies for professionals of visual arts, education, and health and social welfare. There are over 400 educated mentors in Finland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, France and Japan.

This method has also been adopted into basic child healthcare by creating a new concept Kultane®. This concept is a pioneer in the field of multidisciplinary art, where the visual artists and the public health nurses are working together for the families’ well-being.

There is a publication (for a fee) about The Experiential Colour Workshop for Babies, which can be ordered by e-mail: varikylpy@pori.fi.

More information:
Päivi Setälä, Director 
+358 44 701 1086

Sanna Pajunen-Kyynäräinen, Adviser of Early Childhood Art Activities 
+358 44 701 9767 

Featured image: Värimyrsky värikylpyperjantai-workshop 2022. Photo: Merilii Simonen

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