Homemade Finger Paint

All this week, I’ve been giving you ideas for preschool crafts that help are easy, fun, and clean. Here, I digress. It’s time to get messy. There’s nothing wrong with making a big, crafty mess once in a while if you’ve got a little time and patience for cleanup.

This is a favorite activity for preschoolers because there is none of the fine motor skills frustration they often encounter when crafting. And it feels so squishy, swirly good! My friend, who gave me this recipe, says her kids behave like perfect angels in church if she promises them finger painting afterwards.

So put an apron or smock on your little guys and let them go for it!

Homemade Finger Paint

2 Tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup clear dishwashing liquid
food coloring paste (you can use liquid food coloring, but the colors won’t be as bright)

Mix the sugar and cornstarch and put it in a small saucepan. Add water gradually, stirring over low heat. Cook for about five minutes until the mixture becomes smooth and almost clear. Cool completely, then stir in the dishwashing liquid. Divide into airtight containers and stir in enough food coloring to color the paint.

Cleanup should just take water because the dishwashing liquid dissolves in water, but it’s best to protect clothing. Cover the work area with paper, a plastic tablecloth or large plastic trash bags. Have a bucket of water nearby so kids can wash off their hands easily between colors.

Coated paper is great for finger painting, but you can use big sheets of newsprint or even construction paper, but make sure it’s big. Sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 aren’t nearly big enough for your preschoolers imagination.