Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homemade Finger Paint

It's been one of those weeks.  A long, long week.  I actually convinced myself as I was waking up this morning that today was Friday and I'd get to sleep in tomorrow.  Ten minutes later, disappointment settled in as I realized that if that were true, I'd missed half a week.  I'm pretty sure Wednesdays are worse than Mondays.

So anyway, to pull myself out of my sad, tired place, I decided a craft project with the kids was in order.  Crafts are a great way to brighten up a day.  Especially kid crafts.  Finger painting has been on my mind for awhile because it's colorful and fun and the kids can get so creative.  But, it's messy and I didn't want to have to buy finger paints from the store.  So, this will be a two part tutorial, dealing with both those issues.

First, making your own finger paint!  I have this recipe for a really simple, no cook finger paint.  It only needs a few ingredients, and the kids can help make it, doubling the fun.  Here's what you need:

2 cups cold water
2 cups white flour
Food coloring

First, you pour the cold water into a bowl.

Add the flour slowly.  I had one of my kids stirring as I did this, and I also opted to sift the flour as I put it in to help avoid clumping.  Mix it up good.  My kids said it smelled good.  Bonus.

Divide the mixture into four mixing containers, or however many colors you feel like making.  I decided to use some disposable cups for ease of cleanup.  Add food coloring of choice into each.

Mix, mix, mix!

And we're ready for painting!  Isn't this picture sweet?  Just so you know, that says "mommy" under the heart.  Spelled M-O-M-E-Y.  Way to go, sounding it out!

I found these cool squirt bottles in the travel section at the store.  They're meant for things like shampoo and body wash, but I thought they'd be perfect for storing the colors I made.  These are 3 oz each.

EDIT: We opened one of these up last night and paint erupted from the bottle.  It seems to have built up pressure while sitting...  So, I would recommend maybe filling up your storage container about half way.  Good news is:  super easy to clean up!

So, this was my first time making this particular paint.  Here's what I think of it:  It's just okay.  Honestly, it doesn't cling to the paper very well.  My son had to put a lot on his finger and basically push it around the paper.  But it's colorful, fun, and if you get those natural food colors (beets and cabbage and whatnot) not unhealthy at all.  Also, I had worried at the start that having food dye mixed in might be a stain producer...  It wiped off of the fingers and table easily.  Luckily none got on any clothes, so I can't vouch for that.  I suspect it won't be hard to clean off though.

I think if I decide to do traditional finger painting with the kids again, I'm going to go for a recipe that requires cooking and see how that is.  My husband suggesting maybe putting a little oil in this recipe could help it to cling a little better.  I may have to try that.  If you try it before me, let me know how it turns out.

All that being said, this recipe is perfect for the next tutorial I have in mind...  Mess free finger painting!

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