Recipe for Homemade Finger Paint
All four of my boys love painting, and we love to explore with different types of paint. We especially love making our own paint. What is safer than homemade paint? I am more comfortable knowing exactly is in the paint when let my babies paint. We first tried this recipe when Tank and Peanut were 11 months.
Last summer when my husband I and purchased a Vitamix at the County Fair I was near the end of my pregnancy with the twins, so as you can imagine, I was huge and uncomfortable. I sat on our couch and read the recipe book that came with the little appliance from cover to cover. And again. And then again. I didn't have much else to do since I couldn't be on my feet, so I spent my time compiling a list of must try recipes.
One section of the book is dedicated to children. I eagerly thumbed through the ideas and filed some of them in my mind for future use. (Future meaning once I could actually stand on two feet for more than two minutes without my back aching.) The other day I remembered the recipe for finger paint, and I decided it was time to try it out with my littlest guys.
I added everything but the food coloring to the Vitamix and blended it together on high for about six and a half minutes.
If you don't have a Vitamix or comparable appliance you can whisk together all ingredients on the stove over medium heat until thickened.
Once thickened, separate into smaller portions depending on how many colors you'd like to make.
Add color and mix well.
Store in jars until ready to use.
Please note they will be hot for some time, so make a bit in advance. I prepared this batch during nap time, so it was ready to go when the little guys woke up.
I took it outside and put a ball of each color on a cookie sheet. I put the cookie sheets on a shower curtain I bought at Dollar Tree that I use for messy play. (The label says do not put in a washing machine, but I throw them in with towels all the time to clean after play.)
My little Peanut barely touched one part of it, scrunched up his face and didn't reach for it again. Instead he sat on my lap while I photographed his brother.
Tank, on the other hand, loved it!
JZ (5) was giddy at the thought of his brothers having some messy fun of their own. He helped me make the paint, and he stayed close by the entire time Tank played.
Of course it went directly into the mouth. This kid eats everything. I know most babies do, but really, Tank eats everything.
He smeared it a little on the shower curtain, but was mostly just interested in taste testing. He comes by his nickname honestly.
To see the results for myself, I combined bits of the colored balls together and smeared them. At this age it's more about the sensory experience than about painting. It turned out to be a gooey but not sticky substance. It washed off in seconds and was, in my opinion, a quick and easy way to let little ones get messy and stimulate their senses.
I'm more than a bit addicted to my Vitamix. It is hands down the best purchase my husband and I have made.
I have used this recipe many times since this original post, and I wanted to share some more details. I have learned that I need to use the paint shortly after making it to get the right consistency. Allow it to cool completely then use right away for the best results. Most days when I make paint I cover our toddler table with butcher paper and let the boys paint freely.
If it sits for a few hours it starts to thicken. This is fun for children of all ages. It's an ooey gooey colorful sensory experience.
Peanut didn't want anything to do with the edible sensory paint the first time we made it, but now it is one of his favorite materials! In the photo below he is 16 months.