Here are two of my favorite finger paints to make with kids. They can be messy, but if you have them paint outside or in a high chair (littlest, messiest ones) they can make a mess and you can clean up with a hose! Kids need to explore textures, especially kids that don’t like to do this. You can also teach them shapes and letters by drawing in the finger paint. This is especially helpful for kids (even older ones) who are having difficulty learning their letters.
Home Made Finger Paints
In saucepan, stir together and whisk over low heat for 5 minutes until thick and clear:
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup cornstarch
Whisk in and let cool:
1 TB light corn syrup
Divide mixture into bowls and squirt into each one: washable, nontoxic tempera paint (or Jell-O or unflavored Kool-Aid or food coloring). When paint is cook, scoop onto finger-paint paper and commence smearing!
Pudding Finger Paint:
Mix a package of pudding according to directions but add a little less milk so it is thicker. Let set. Give a glop to kids on a piece of paper.
Other Home Finger Paints: Applesauce, yogurt, jello, chocolate sauce.
How to manage the mess:
Do the activity outside, or in a plastic swim pool and hose off when done.
Don’t use paper—use a plastic swim pool, tub, or bodies to paint on!
Do the activity in the bathtub (and shower afterwards!).
Use old T-shirts over clothes for paint shirts.
Do an activity once a week and your kids will get used to your rules.
Have a designated area for crafts. Allow kids access to crafts on a regular basis so they get used to the rules