Toddler activities: finger-painting fun

Toddler activities: finger-painting fun

Use our finger paint recipe to get your toddler painting. It’s a fun family activity that helps encourage your child's creativity.

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 get your hands dirty 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. Roll up her sleeves and help 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!

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, including shiny finger-painting paper
- Primary-color finger paints, store-bought or home-made (see below for recipe)


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.

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Great recipe


My son absolutely loves art! Whether it's finger paints, markers, crayons, he is happiest when expressing himself through art! Thanks for the great finger paint recipe!


Jamie 10/1/2015

Love this idea

i've got to try this


good one!!



I got some washable paints and let my son play with them all over the shower. He loves it and clean up is easy.



My babies LOVE to paint. They are the only grandchildren on both sides of the family, so we have many people who love their artwork! I do have to mention, at 20 months old, they only want to color or paint for a few minutes. I understand that and know that I have to get everything ready and then everything ready to move on in a very short period of time!

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