Finger painting is fun and therapeutic for kids of all ages. In fact, you might want to join in with your kids! When we finger paint, we use a foam plate or tray from a used package of vegetables as our paint palette. We only use primary colors, and talk about what we would need to mix to make colors that are needed, and sometimes just experiment! Our current favorite way of finger painting is for me to draw an outline of an animal they’ve chosen on white paper. I tape the white paper to a paper bag, and they just sit at the dining room table and paint away! Staying in the lines is not a skill that’s quite there yet, but the kids feel really successful when I cut out the animal after its dried and let them use a glue stick to paste it to a different color of construction paper.
Take it one step further: Read a book about this animal, watch an online video of this animal (preview it before showing it to your kids!), or take turns pretending to be the animal.
Take it one step back: Have a child that you think is too young for finger paint, but don’t want them left out? Give them their own edible palette. Steamed, mashed beets and mango are my favorite “baby paint.” They have a vibrant color and are very good for you! They can just enjoy painting the tray of their high chair. Use your imagination or what’s in your cupboard to make other edible paints.
Skills: pre-reading including basic research, fine motor, science