Finger Painting Made Easy(ier): Tips to Try at Home

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The girls LOVE to finger paint! I don't LOVE the clean-up.
In order to make finger painting enjoyable for all of us, I've had to come up with some ways to help keep the mess contained for a quick and easy clean-up time.

Tips and tricks for finger painting at home with little fuss: 

  • Be prepared before you let the finger painting commence!
  • Tape down  paper onto a flat surface (keeps paper from being thrown upside down onto floor)
  • Place a drop cloth, an old sheet, or inexpensive plastic shower curtain liner on the floor to prevent spills and splatters
  • Dribble small amounts of paint onto the paper for child to spread around (ideal) or put paint on a paper plate to be thrown away when finished (*Note-plate can be tossed onto floor if not taped down)
  • Have children wear a plastic washable bib or one of your old T-shirts to prevent clothes from being painted
  • Use washable paint 
  • Keep wipes easily accessible so that you can quickly grab one for a preliminary cleaning as soon as your painter has finished her work of art (Note for Mama's of Multiples under 2 years old- I've found that when one is complete, both are complete. Take it from me- Do not leave materials out and accessible while you take one to wash up at the sink, no matter how close the sink may be. You just may end up spending extra time cleaning fingerprints off of your pants legs, the kitchen cupboards, and who knows what else) 
For Easy Clean Up...
  • Keep a bucket full of soapy water, a sponge, and paper towels handy for quick  hand washing
  • Have a place in mind and ready to go for pictures to dry, out of reach. Move the pictures before you start washing hands or finger painting may begin again as you are cleaning. I use the breakfast bar counter top, too high for my little ones to reach
  • Remove old shirts or bibs before they run off to play 
  • Use the sponge and soapy water to wipe up the drop cloth/shower curtain liner, and anything else that might need a quick wipe down 

A few final tips...

Crayola washable paints works great and cleans up easily.  But, I also like to try different mediums.
For example...
Paint with water outside on the sidewalk using a large paintbrush.
Add a few drops of food coloring to water and paint on paper using a small paintbrush
Use hands to paint with Cool Whip or Shaving Cream on the tabletop
Use homemade flour paint on wax paper(see recipe below).
I came across this flour paint recipe on productiveparenting.com.
"Spoon 2 tablespoons of flour in a bowl and add a few drops of water at a time to the flour until it becomes a thin paste.  Add a few drops of food coloring to the mixture.
Place a large piece of wax paper in front of your child.  Drop small amounts of the finger paints on the paper and let your child move the finger paints around the paper.  To preserve your child's creation, press a piece of construction paper on the painting and hang it to dry.  Your child will love to see it displayed for all to see!"


Girls painting with homemade flour paint
Hope these tips help make finger painting a little more enjoyable for everyone involved! Have fun painting! 

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