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Finger-Painting Fun

Finger-Painting Fun

What is it about finger-painting that kids love so much? Being allowed to make a mess is a big part of the fun! Here’s how to participate in this joy while keeping the mess in check.

Cover up. Pick a room in the house where you feel comfortable having your child use paints. Spread newspaper all over the floor and table. Help your child roll up her sleeves and have her put on an apron, smock, or oversized shirt to protect her clothing.

Play with textures and colors. Finger-painting is a fun way for your child to experiment with textures and colors. For example, add more water to show her how the paint becomes slippery, or mix primary colors so she can see how they change.

Share with your child. Talk to her about how the paint feels on her fingers. Encourage her to use descriptive words or metaphors.

Make a print. You can make a print of your child's finger painting by placing another piece of paper over the surface of the painting and pressing down gently. Pin it to the refrigerator for everyone to admire!

Learning and Growing
Finger painting is one of the best ways for children to express themselves creatively. Besides spending quality time with their parents, they also strengthen hand and finger muscles and learn about mixing colors.

What You’ll Need

  • Newspaper
  • An apron or an old shirt
  • Water-resistant paper (shiny finger-painting paper, drawer liner paper, smooth finished cardboard)
  • Primary-color finger paints, store-bought or home-made (see below for recipes)

Alternatives
If your child is reluctant to get her hands "dirty" with finger paints, you can substitute other materials, like liquid soap, shaving cream with a drop of food coloring, or even chocolate pudding!

Make Your Own Finger Paint
Recipe 1:

  • 1 to 3 tablespoons liquid starch
  • 1 tablespoon tempera paint

Spread liquid starch (instead of water) on finger-painting surface. Add tempera paint.

Recipe 2:

  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon tempera paint or food coloring

Mix water and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add paint or food coloring, or divide the mixture into three parts and add three different colors.

240 Comments

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I do this

5/25/2016
I babysit my 18month old nice and we do this but I put wrap over it so it's mess free. And she can stomp on it, she had fun.

REALLY FUNNNNNNNNNN

Albert Kobani 5/21/2016
LIKE IT LIKE IT LIKE IT

Perfect

5/21/2016
This is awesome! Exactly what I was looking for! My little girl will love it!

Thanks

nany26 5/19/2016
Very helpful

sounds like fun

5/18/2016
I'm going to try this out w my toddler
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