Finger Painting

Finger painting is just that…painting with the fingers…and kids love it!

finger painting

This form of painting is essential for the artistic development of toddlers and preschoolers.

Finger painting is one of the cheapest and easiest activities for kids to do.

All kids need is paint and something to paint on!

Paint for Fingerpainting

Click here for all the information you need for finger paint including buying paint and paint safety.

Finger paint is inexpensive to buy, but it is so cheap and easy to make at home using common household ingredients.

Make your own paint with these easy finger paint recipes.

Ideas For What To Finger Paint On

Painting On Paper

The best type of paper to use for fingerpainting is heavy paper, cardboard or pasteboard. Paper such as copy paper or the like tends to result in a big torn up mess with an over enthusiastic painting preschooler or from the use of thin color.

The general rule is the heavier the paper the thinner the paint can be, or the thicker the color the thinner the paper can be.

Homemade finger paint is beautifully thick and smooth, so it can be used on copy paper.

The best combination for toddlers and preschoolers is thick paint and thick paper.

Using thick color also reduces the mess from splashing little hands. See more paint clean up tips here.

There’s a wide variety of paper available at discount stores and craft supply outlets, so it’s easy to experiment with different types of paper.

Try watercolour paper – for a rougher texture, blotting paper or even heavier scrapbooking paper or card stock.

Other Materials To Paint On

Paper aside, try various other materials such as:

  • Corrugated plastic or corriboard / corflute – for example old real estate for sale signs
  • sheet of plastic or disposable plastic table cloth or even an old vinyl table cloth
  • old or cheap tarpaulin or tarp
  • lino or vinyl (floor covering) off cuts
  • large pieces of bubble wrap
  • contact paper – stick down onto a flat surface
  • old bed sheets or other material such as cheap block out curtain backing
  • wood – such as a washable wooden table top
  • glass – such as washable window or glass door
  • canvas – or pre-made canvas frames

You can buy most of the above mentioned materials at

Textured Finger Painting Ideas

finger painting with texture

For extra sensory stimulation try adding texture to paint for example:

  • Sand – for coarse / grainy textured paint
  • Cotton ball threads – pull apart a few cotton balls and add to paint for a squishy texture
  • Hundreds and thousands – sprinkle multi-coloured sugar sprinkles onto paint and mix in with fingers
  • Oil – Pour in little vegetable or even baby oil and mix in with fingers
  • Leaves – add leaves picked up in the backyard to color and mix in with fingers for a natural or autumn painting

Help kids to glue a piece of corrugated cardboard or sandpaper (not too rough) onto paper for them then to paint over it with their fingers.

Add a couple of drops of sweet smelling essential oil such as orange or lavender for additional olfactory stimulation.