Easy Finger Paint Recipe

best finger paint recipe When I was a teenager my older sister and I both worked as day camp leaders. I worked at a nice rec center with a huge wave pool, rock climbing wall, skating rink and lots of art supplies. She didn’t. She worked at a tiny rec center with a few multipurpose rooms and a small neighborhood pool. She made these finger paint for her camps all the time. On a rainy day I decided to bust out her old and easy finger paint recipe and have fun with my 3 year old who loves to cook and finger paint. The result was a fun day with my favorite 3 year old and a surprisingly clean kitchen. So often we just make the paints or playdough or cloud dough but involving the kids in the making creates a deeper level of learning and exploration.

The recipe :

1/4 cup of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup of water.
food coloring or a little washable paint if you are concerned about staining.

This recipe is easily doubled or tripled for bigger groups.

Food color will stain hands/ clothes if not washed right away but the experience of making paint from scratch was worth pink hands for a few hours. You may not want to do this with nice clothes on or before family pictures. The alternative is to use some tempra paint in the place of the food coloring.

 

Gather your materials. You will need cornstarch, water, sugar, food coloring, a pot, a bowl, measuring cups, spoon, spatula, finger paint paper, containers and toothpicks for stirring. non toxic finger paint recipe

 

Start by mixing the dry ingredients. I measured out the ingredients for my daughter so she could do this independently and because I had JUST enough cornstarch that if we spilled too much the recipe would have flopped. Planning ahead is not my strong suit. With a slightly older child getting them to do the measuring would be rad.  home made finger paints

” All of it Mama?” Her face lit up when I said yes. So glad she likes to cook because by the time she is old enough to do it herself I will be so so over making dinner every night.cooking finger paints

Mix. Your kids will probably notice what she did which is that sometimes the spoon gets stuck while mixing. That’s the cornstarch. If you have extra cornstarch while the paint is cooling grab some and explore it in a shallow pan with some water. It’s a fun sensory activity. how to make finger paint

Once it’s well mixed pour it into the pot and warm over medium heat. I had it on low while she was stirring and then turned it up and stirred it myself.  Also I used a big spatula for her to stir with so she wouldn’t be too close to the warm pot. When it starts to thicken take it off the burner and stir. It will get even thicker as it cools. easy finger paint recipe for kids

I let it cool mostly in the pot then spooned it into the containers until it was completely cooled.

Add a few drops of food coloring. I asked her how many and then we counted together. Math and cooking are best buddies! homemade finger paints for kids

Mix! food coloring finger paintsAs you can see I popped a bib on her since food coloring stains but it was way too small…. So when it was time to paint I grabbed an apron for her. Worked much better!

Time to paint. I covered the kitchen island with a paint drop cloth and gave her some finger paint paper and let her go for it. finger painting with homemade finger paints

And go for it she did.

finger painting

When she started painting her arms it was time for one last picture and to move on to washing up in the sink.finger painting turns to arm painting Not only did this help get the excess off her hands it also got the dishes clean too. She had a blast cooking, painting , and cleaning. She was so excited to tell her dad that she made a painting with paints she cooked and I loved that she told him all about each step hours later. My intention wasn’t to have her do a retell of the activity but it happened naturally. I love watching kids learn!cleaning up finger paints

Kitchen Art

We do 90% of our art projects in the kitchen and sometimes we like to use kitchen tools for art even using food as a supply from time to time.  Here are some of our favorite kitchen art projects.

Salad Spinner Painting

Yogurt Painting

Turkey Baster Painting

Sweet Potato Finger Painting

Cookie Cutter Printing

Fine Motor Apples

by Katy

This is an extremely simple activity that helps children address two important areas of development: fine motor and sensory.

You will need a plain sheet of paper, a piece of card stock, a hole puncher, and a green crayon or marker.

Punch as many holes as you can in the card stock.

Place the card stock on top of your white sheet of paper.

Take red finger paint and guide your child to work it into each hole. Help your child isolate their pointed finger as they do this. The slippery/slimy texture of the paint is one that often poses a problem for kids with sensory issues, so don’t be surprised if they resist. Try to finish the activity, though. While we were doing the activity, Charlie, who often strongly resists finger painting, took such an interest in those little holes that he seemed to forget that he was touching his nemesis: finger paint.

Lift the card stock and wait for all your circles to dry.

Once the paint is dry, allow your child to draw green stems with the crayon/marker. Let them do it alone if they can, guide them if they are unable.

I you do have to help your child draw the stems, be sure to guide them in the most natural way possible. Show them a downward stroke even though it might feel strange depending on where you are standing while you help them.

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Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.

Handprint Christmas Tree {Baby’s 1st Christmas Craft}

hand print christmas tree

This handprint Christmas tree craft is a keeper. As you may imagine this was a very exciting day for us, the first time my daughter really got into the action with a project. Amazingly unlike her brother who ate the paint for over two years it didn’t even graze her lips. This kids craft can be done with any age with varying levels of adult involvement. I love how it turned out and this one will be packed away and saved for certain.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper or paper grocery bag, a marker, green paint ( we added some glitter paint to ours too), construction paper, glue, scissors and paint tape.
  2. Start by cutting the bag  open and taping it down to the table. When you are crafting with a baby or toddler it’s going to be messy but you can take a few steps to help minimize it. By taping the paper you are using to the table as well as using a piece much larger than needed you avoid the paper and paint hitting the floor and protect your table.  Not to mention you also stop them from being able to grab the whole thing and trying to eat it.
  3. Trace their hand on a paper with the marker.
  4. Stack the other papers under and cut out.
  5. Draw the outline of a tree on the paper.  I did ours sideways so she could reach most of it for painting.
  6. Time to paint! Add the paint to the paper and let the baby spread it . What is this ?
  7. “Ooh I like it” Remember to narrate what they are doing. ” You are painting the tree, you are painting with green. Do you like it? Is it squishy?” Yes you might feel a little foolish but trust me it’s important.  You are teaching them even when they are too young to respond in ways we recognize.
  8. I had to take her out of her seat and dangle her over the table to reach the other side. She loved this. Obviously I have no picture …
  9. Clean baby up and place in the exersaucer. I had 2 baby wipes on hand to wipe her hands. I find they work on paint better than anything, then a wash cloth with warm water cleaned her right up.
  10. Add glue to the tree.
  11. Add the hand print cut outs. Let dry.
  12. Cut out .

Books


Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman arrived on my door step a few months ago sent to me by the publisher for review. It is a really fun and educational book. The book is a new spin on the old song ” Ten in A Bed” but instead of squeezing onto a bed these cold weather animals pile on and off the sled one at a time. What is wonderful from an educational sense is not just the obvious counting element but as each animal exists the sled the verb used for each animal begins with the same letter as the animal does. This was fantastic for my son who wanted to sound every animal and verb out.  Add a fun rhyming sing song text and this is a great option for a holiday gift.

SantaKid by James Patterson is a favorite library book in our house this year . My son inherited his love and curiosity of the inner workings of the North Pole from me and this book feeds that wonder. It also taps into something preschoolers are often seeking, power and a voice that gets heard. In the story Santa’s daughter saves the North Pole and Christmas from a corporate take over. I liked this book, and my son did too. It doesn’t focus on the religious celebration but rather on Santa and it doesn’t take a very sophisticated kid to know it’s make believe, 3 pages in my son said ” Mommy, this is a made up story right? Santa isn’t a regular Daddy, that’s silly!”  What it does is focuses on giving kids power to save something. Maybe it’s just my 4 year old but he spends all day pretending to save the day and this book spoke right to that desire to be powerful and good!

Olive, the Other Reindeer.by Vivian Walsh is probably familiar to you if not because of the book, maybe the TV special starring Drew Barrymore as the voice of Olive. If it’s new to you the story is simple, Olive is a little dog who after hearing a Christmas carol believes she is one of Santa’s reindeer . She journey’s to the North Pole and even though she can’t fly and is just a dog she saves the day . I love the vibrant and busy illustrations by J. Otto Seibold and Olive’s childlike innocence.  There is a reason this book has exploded into a character driven product, it’s cute and we can all relate to wanting to get to ride with Santa and his crew on Christmas Eve.