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Make your own fingerpaint

September 21, 2010

Fingerpainting is the quintessential toddler and preschooler art activity.  Most kids enjoy the squish of paint in their hands, the gloopiness and the smooth way it transfers to paper.  For little ones, using the hands directly to make art is freeing…a break from developing the fine motor control required for using tools.  (Boo did go through a phase where she only wanted to paint with a brush and preferred not to get her hands messy…that’s normal and just fine too!)  Fingerpainting is a natural introduction to color mixing.  Somehow, when the tools are not there and it’s just hands to paint to paper, there seems to be less concern about drawing forms, and more diving into the sensory experience…the feel of the paint, the movement of the fingers, the vibrant colors mixing together.

There’s no need to buy special paints or paper for fingerpainting.  The brown semiglossy paper that comes crumpled up in packages is perfect, but regular easel paper works great too.  To make your own fingerpaint, just pour some tempura paint into a small container (we reuse creamcheese tubs and the like) and mix in some liquid soap.  I love making ours with Dr. Bronner’s liquid castille lavendar soap…Paint that smells like lavender, how wonderful!  This saves money and packaging and I love that we can start with any rainbow of colors that we choose, making as much as we need each time.

Everyone likes permission to make a mess, right?

(This post is part of the 30-minute Blog Challenge at Steady Mom.)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2010 9:15 pm

    Lovely idea! I’m going to try this with my toddler. Quick question, this does wash off right?

    • September 22, 2010 6:18 am

      Yes, it rinses off easily! Of course, we use washable tempura paint. I suggest wearing a smock for this activity, but we inevitably get some on clothing, and we rinse those out right after too…no stains. Have fun! :)

  2. September 22, 2010 12:19 am

    oooh, that paint does look heavenly. So smooth and delicious. I will have to try this for sure, my boys would love it!!!

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