Finger painting is a fun and creative activity that can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike.
With just a few basic materials, anyone can create beautiful and unique works of art using their fingers as brushes.
However, it’s important to follow some basic steps to ensure your child’s finger-painting experience is enjoyable and successful.
Here, we’ll explore some key steps to follow while finger painting, including choosing the right materials, preparing your workspace, and exploring different techniques to create stunning pieces of art.
How to start finger painting with kids
Here is how you can start finger painting with your kids:
Prepare the Materials
For finger painting, you’ll need to prepare basic materials such as paint, paper (newsprint or construction paper), mixing cups, or palettes to combine colors and brushes or sponges.
You may also choose to have individual paint trays and smocks (shirts) for children, so they won’t get their clothes dirty. A roll of protective sheets like newspaper is ideal protection if you’re working on tabletops.
Engage Your Kid in the Activity
Involve your child in the preparation of the activity. For instance, ask your kid to participate in setting up the trays with paint and paper or choosing the colors they will use for painting.
This way, they will feel included and excited before starting their art project.
Don’t limit them, and allow them to experiment with color combinations by mixing two or more shades on their palettes or directly on their painting surfaces.
They can create new effects by splattering water onto their paintings as long as this is done carefully and not near furniture damaged by moisture seepage.
Create a Casual Painting Environment
Set up a relaxed environment where your kids don’t feel pressure but only enjoy – play some cheerful music in the background, talk about exciting topics, and let your kids want an effortless art experience by allowing them to express themselves freely.
Avoid any comments that could make a child feel unsure about their work.— these comments do little good other than hurting our kids’ creativity.
Relax at Every Stage of Creating Artwork
Some children work slowly, while others might go quicker. Still, it doesn’t matter – let your kid take their time throughout every stage of creating artwork without pressuring them too much; each step should be enjoyable – from choosing colors to mixing the shades to completing their masterpieces!
Which Materials To Use For Finger Painting?
Here’s a guide featuring supplies and tips to maximize finger-painting activities!
Choose Tempera or Acrylic Paint
If you’re looking for the best option for finger painting, choose tempera paint or acrylic paint. Both are easy to use and clean up without leaving behind any residue. Acrylic paints are slightly more vibrant than tempera paints.
They have a glossy finish when dry, making them ideal for creating art pieces that can be displayed around the house.
Pick Up Quality Finger Painting Paper
Traditional drawing paper or colored sheets of construction paper won’t last long when exposed to watery paint, so look for special finger-painting papers designed with kids in mind.
Finger-painting papers are thicker than standard drawing papers, making them resistant to ripping and tearing even when wet.
You can usually find these in art supply stores or online retailers dedicated to art supplies.
Gather Other Supplies
When you’re stocking up on materials for your finger-painting project, consider gathering other children-friendly art supplies such as crayons and markers.
They will help in more mature artwork once children develop a sense of imagination and coordination over time.
Additionally, don’t forget other simple tools like non-skid comfort mats, which protect surfaces from getting splattered with fingerprinted creations!
Set Up an Easel
A small but sturdy easel gives kids plenty of room to spread out their artistic masterpieces while keeping everything at their height level. If an easel isn’t an option, then tape a large sheet of paper onto a wall so they can start doing what they do best – create!
Pick out Music That Stimulates Creativity
What better way to inspire creativity than adding some tunes? Create a playlist of classical music tracks that introduce children to memorable melodies in a calming environment as they go through their work, expressing emotion through colors – like musical improv.
Jazz tunes can also be great if they prefer fast but relaxing enough not to overwhelm our little Picasso’s concentration power!
Finger Painting Ideas For Kids
Finger painting is a great way to introduce children to the world of art and creativity. For kids, it’s also an easy and fun way to explore their imagination and let their creativity blossom.
Here are some fantastic finger-painting ideas for your little ones that are sure to be both fun and rewarding!
Create Abstract Art
Abstract art is all about shapes, colors, textures, and emotions. Ask your children to use their hands and fingers to create an abstract work of art by mixing colors on paper or canvas.
It’s a beautiful way for them to explore new concepts and discover what different colors evoke in them.
Create 3D Paintings
Three-dimensional paintings can be made with various materials such as clay, paint, glitter, or cardboard. You can use any combination of these materials depending on the look you want your child’s painting.
You can even encourage them to draw out their idea before adding the materials to see how their 3D creation will look.
Make Nature Focused Finger Paintings
Nature is full of inspiration for crafting a unique artwork with your little one. Give them some squiggly lines as a path trimming off a tree or add some blades of grass making their way up from the ground.
Whatever creative touches you have in mind aim at having those unconventional pieces you don’t encounter in everyday life but which take the keen observer’s eye to notice!
Turn Handprints into Works of Art
Kids love getting messy — especially when it comes down to something that involves their own hands! Take advantage of a handprint by turning it into an interesting piece of art!
Encourage your kids’ creativity by having them draw around each finger shape with different colors and shapes until they create something amazing!
You can even go further with this activity by writing down words associated with each finger (healthy eating tips, family-related words, friendship tips, etc.).
Create Feelings Coloring Page
This idea allows children to express their feelings without verbal communication. Start by creating an outlined image with space inside where they can color it in using different shades that represent certain feelings or moods (e.g., happiness vs. sadness).
This will help teach your kids valuable lessons about recognizing big emotions like anger, joy, or fear when presented outside themselves – which is truly helpful since feelings come from within us but impact everyone around us too!
Finger Painting Recipes For Kids
With the right ingredients, kids of all ages can have fun creating a masterpiece that they can proudly display or share with their friends. That said, here are 10 finger painting recipes you can try out with your kids.
You’ll need 4 tablespoons of flour, 1/2 cup of cold water, food coloring or tempera paints, and some paper plates or wax paper.
Begin by mixing the flour and cold water together until there are no clumps in the mixture. Divide it into separate containers and add a few drops of food coloring or tempera paint to create different colors.
If you need more color, mix in a bit more food coloring or paint until you reach your desired shade. Let your child dip their fingers into the mixture and start painting away!
Combine 1/4 cup of liquid starch with 4 tablespoons of white glue in a shallow container. Stir it up until it forms an even consistency – about two minutes should do the trick – then divide it into smaller containers for each color your child wants to make.
Mix some food coloring or tempera paint into each container, then sprinkle glitter onto each one until you get the desired sparkle! Give them pieces of construction paper to create their masterpiece on!
Edible Finger Paint
Whip up a batch of this edible finger paint to let your little one eat and paint! You’ll need 2 cups wheat flour, 2 cups cornstarch, 4 cups cold water, red food coloring, and vanilla extract for flavoring (you can also try experimenting with different flavors such as strawberry extract).
Over medium heat, whisk together all ingredients except food coloring and flavor extracts; occasionally stir until there are no lumps in the mixture – be careful not to burn it!
Once done cooking, divide the mix into individual containers and add several drops of food coloring plus a few drops of vanilla extract (or another flavor) to each container for coloring and flavoring – don’t forget to stir! To use the edible paint, spread some on wax paper for easy clean-up.
Finger Puffy Paint
For this activity, you will only need two ingredients – shaving cream and liquid detergent – so it couldn’t be easier!
In separate bowls, add equal parts shaving cream (for fluffiness) and liquid detergent (for stickiness), adding any dyes that you like before stirring together till combined well (generally, 8 parts shaving cream to 2 parts liquid detergent works best).
Give your mini artist plenty of sheets or rolls of construction paper and their puffy finger paints…and let them have at it! After they have finished their masterpiece, put a piece of cardboard over the top and press lightly till dry – voila!
Oil Pastel Finger Paint
This finger painting recipe will help you combine the look of oil pastels with the act of finger painting.
All you need is some non-toxic body lotion; tempera paints in different colors, scissors, dish soap, and a few sheets of paper.
Foam Finger Paint
Make homemade foam paint with this simple recipe from Two Daloo. You only need four ingredients: shaving cream, cornstarch, water, and liquid craft paint!
Edible Finger Paints
Got curious little hands who like to taste everything? Try this edible finger paint recipe from Education – it only requires three ingredients – yogurt, cornstarch, and food coloring!
Super Simple Primary Paint Recipe
You only need three ingredients for this easy recipe – acrylic or tempera paints (in red, blue, and yellow), baby oil or vegetable oil, and water!
If using acrylic paints, mix them with baby oil before diluting them with water; if using tempera paints, dissolve them in warm water first before adding oil.
Create outside artwork by inviting kids to finger-paint on pieces of chalkboard-painted paper! You can make your own chalkboard paint at home using black poster board and non-toxic modeling clay.
Make playtime magical with special glow-in-the-dark finger-paint from Babbles n Bits! To create this glowing masterpiece, you only need 3 ingredients – glow powder/flour, white school glue, and some neon-colored washable paints!
Brightly Colored Recipe
Brighten things up by creating brightly-hued semi-transparent finger-paint paintings – all you’ll need is liquid watercolor (or food coloring) mixed into a 1-part liquid starch solution stirred into 6 parts clear glue solution in two separate bowls.
Glowing Rainbow Rice
Use rainbow-colored rice as your canvas for artful fingerprint creations. All you have to do is add drops of hand-soapy water onto wet newspaper before spreading the colorful grains on top, then use your fingers to dip in washable ink pads, press down onto one side, then let dry overnight.
Simple Color Explosion
Get creative and messy with vibrant color explosions made with white vinyl tubing filled up slightly halfway full of air-tight sealant gel.
Carefully cut off the end side and add drops of multiple bright watered-down tempuras or acrylic blend paints, ready to mix further, gradually piping colored layers over paper surfaces of choice. Secure the other end side again after mixing the paints.
Funky Foam Paint
Let imaginations fly wild when combining foamy fluffy textures popping against bold color tones, like mixing together 1 cup brown lacquer thinner + 1/2 cup shaving cream + squirt dye drop, and voila!
Create Animal Prints
Children love animals, and they will enjoy making art that looks like animals. You can use different colored paints to create paw prints of various animals, such as a dog, cat, or tiger.
You can also try creating prints that look like birds or fish by using different patterns and colors.
Kids love rainbows, and they will enjoy making their own colorful rainbow paintings. You can ask your child to paint a large rainbow using all the colors of the rainbow, or they can create a rainbow with different colors on each finger.
You can even challenge them to come up with creative ways to incorporate rainbows into their paintings, such as painting a rainbow unicorn or a rainbow landscape.
Paint with Feathers
Feathers make great painting tools! They are soft and gentle, and they create beautiful textures and lines.
You can use feathers to create abstract art, or you can ask your child to paint a picture of a bird using feathers as the brush.
Paint with Watercolors
Watercolors are perfect for finger painting! They are easy to work with, and they create beautiful, translucent colors.
You can ask your child to create a beautiful landscape, a colorful still life, or a whimsical abstract painting using watercolors.
Paint with Homemade Pudding Paint
Kids will love making and painting with homemade pudding paint! To make the paint, you will need 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 cups of cold water, and food coloring.
Combine the cornstarch, sugar, and water in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and divide into separate containers.
Add food coloring to each container to create different colors. Let your child use their fingers to paint with the pudding paint on paper or canvas. The paint will dry, but it will still be soft to the touch and smell delicious!
Bubble Wrap Prints
Create an abstract artwork by using bubble wrap to make prints. Let your child dip their fingers into the paint and then press them onto the bubble wrap. Then, press the bubble wrap onto the paper to make colorful prints.
Use your child’s handprints to make animals such as a turkey, a fish, or a butterfly. You can add details with paint or markers to complete the animals.
Rainbow Finger Painting
Use your child’s fingers to create a colorful rainbow. Let them choose the colors they want to use and have them blend them together to create a beautiful rainbow.
Cotton Swab Painting
Instead of using fingers, have your child use cotton swabs to paint. They can make dots, lines, and other shapes to create unique artwork.
Sprinkle salt onto a wet-painted surface to create a unique texture. Then, have your child use their fingers to create designs or pictures in the salt.
Use your child’s handprints to make trees. They can use brown paint for the trunk and green for the leaves. Then, they can add details with paint or markers to complete the picture.
Finger Painting with Stickers
Create a design on paper using stickers, and then let your child’s finger paint around them. Once the paint is dry, remove the stickers to reveal a unique and colorful artwork.
Use your child’s handprints to make flowers. They can use different colors for the petals and the center of the flowers.
Galaxy Finger Painting
Use dark colors such as navy, purple, and black to create a galaxy. Then, have your child use white paint to create stars by flicking the paint onto the paper with a brush.
Have your child paint on sandpaper with their fingers. This will create a unique texture that they can explore with their fingers. Once dry, the sandpaper can be cut and used as a textured element in other artworks.
Teaching your kids finger paint can help develop motor skills and allow them to have fun even when they are not around friends. It is significant to ensure that your kids learn to enjoy themselves, and teaching them finger paint is an essential activity that will help them do so!
What supplies do I need for finger painting with kids?
You will need finger paint, paper, paintbrushes (optional), water cups, and paper towels.
Is finger painting safe for young children?
Yes, finger painting is a safe activity for children as long as proper precautions are taken, such as having your child wear a smock or old clothes that can be stained and washing their hands afterwards.
Are there any age restrictions on finger painting?
Finger painting activities are generally recommended for children ages 3-5 years old and up but can be done with younger children when properly supervised by an adult.
Do I need to use special paint for finger painting?
You can use either liquid or powdered tempera paints for finger painting activities; however, if you would like the paint to be non-toxic, it’s best to stick with liquid tempera paint that generally comes in containers specifically labeled “non-toxic” or “safe for kids.”
Are there any safety tips I should keep in mind before starting a finger painting activity with my child?
Before getting started, it is important to ensure you have proper ventilation in the room where the activity will occur and wear old clothes since some paints may stain clothing permanently otherwise.
Additionally, it’s best to provide your child with a smock so that their clothing does not get stained during the process.
Ensure there is no food near the area being used, as this could increase the risk of infection from bacteria transferring between hands, food items, and surfaces.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.