Finger Painting

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Recommend for: Cognitive, Fine Motor, Baby, Toddler, Preschooler,

Categories: Sensory,Art and Craft

Summary: Finger painting is a delightfully messy activity which encourages exploration through the senses of touch, sight and manual manipulation.

In preparing for this activity find a suitable area – this may be a shady spot outdoors or a surface that can be hosed down after the activity. Always have a bucket of water and a towel nearby for easy clean up.

Place some thick paint on the middle of the table and encourage children to explore the paint with their fingers and hands. Talk to them about how it feels.

If you have children reluctant to get their hands messy put some paint in a sealable bag so they can move the paint around without getting paint on their hands.

  • Thick Cornflour Paint
  • 8 rounded tablespoons of cornflour
  • 2 litres water
  • Food colouring or Edicol dye


  1. Blend the cornflour with a little warm water
  2. Boil the remaining water
  3. Add the cornflour, stirring the mixture until mixture becomes smooth
  4. Allow paint to cool and pour into containers with lids
  5. Mix in food colouring / Edicol Dye.

Optional – add a little glycerine to make the paint shiny

Extension Ideas

  1. Give children 2 different primary colours of paint to mix together with their hands and fingers
  2. Provide some simple tools to use in the finger paint. Toy cars, toothbrushes and combs
  3. Change the texture of the paint by adding sand or try finger painting with shaving cream or thick instant pudding

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