{Made for Learning} Finger Paint

Do you remember finger paints when you were small?  I remember having little pots of paint, the cool semi-gelatinous texture, and a distinctive smell, not unlike play-doh.  I was five years old.

Finger painting is a wonderful way to introduce little ones to making art.  They have better control of their own fingers than they do a paint brush, and helps them to build a muscle memory of the way certain objects are formed in two dimensions.  Finger painting is an excellent way to re-enforce letter and number formation. It is also a wonderful way to teach children to mix colours.

As they get a little more advanced, finger painting can be a useful introduction to early figure drawing.

Of course, the extent of wonderful artistic activities is only limited by your imagination.  We’d sure love to see what you and your children make with your finger paints!

You’ll need::

  • 1 c. cornstarch
  • 1 c. grated soap (we use plain olive oil soap or goat’s milk soap)
  • 3 c. water
  • 1T. glycerine or white sugar
  • food dyes (we use India Tree plant-based food dye)
  • saucepan
  • bowl
  • wooden spoons
  • 3 flip-top squirt bottles

Also handy::

  • paint pallets
  • pad of large art paper

Gather your supplies... and your little helpers.

 

Pour your cornstarch (cornflour) into the pot...

 

and your sugar...

 

... and add 1 c. of water.

 

Stir and stir until completely dissolved.

 

Grate the soap

 

Luminous curly soap noodles (ours smell like sandalwood)

 

Add the soap curls to the pot.

 

Place pot over medium heat and stir constantly. As the mixture thickens, add as much of the remaining 2c. water to make the gel workable.

 

When it's ready, the mixture will be light and fluffy.

 

Divide the mixture evenly amongst 3 bowls (or however many you want).

 

Add food colouring to each bowl. We used 40 drops each, and obtained soft colours. Your results will vary depending upon the food colouring you choose. Paste colurants will give you the most vibrant colours.

 

Keep stirring until the colour is even.

 

Pour paint through a funnel into your bottles. Remember to thoroughly rinse the funnel between colours.

 

Pretty!

Take out the paper and fill the wells of the pallettes.

 

Magic time.

 

These finger paints can also be used in the bath!  Since they are soapy, they are also washable.  Lovely!