Baby Play – Finger Painting

As mentioned in my previous post in the baby play series fine motor development is important in the process of developing towards literacy the other skill that leads to writing is mark making whether this is on a small scale through using a finger to make a print on a piece of paper or using giant strokes to paint a fence, any form of making marks is leading towards writing.

Babies first painting

T contemplating the finger paints

The first explorations into mark marking for babies is generally with food – I wrote one of my first posts on Edible Finger Paints with using baby purees to paint with on the high chair tray. I now return to this and we have extended to use finger paints which are still non-toxic and when used with J he didn’t seem to like the taste so didn’t eat them – T is very different and actually loves the taste, but as they are none toxic and made from cooking ingredients they are safe to use with babies that are over 6 months old.

What you need

1 cup Corn Flour (Corn Starch)
1 cup Cold Water
3 cups Boiling Water
Liquid Food Colouring

How the fun happens – making the paint

This is very much an adult make process as it involves using boiling water and mixing over a heat source. First I add 1 cup of cold water to the corn flour in a bowl and mixed it together. Then using freshly boiled water I added a cup at a time to the water/corn flour mix and mixed it together. I then put this mix into a saucepan over a heat and stirred it until it became a consistency of custard.

I used liquid food colouring to colour the paint and then have stored it in clean baby food jars – so far we have had them a week and although needing a little mixing at first they are still good for T to paint with.

Homemade Non-toxic Finger Paints from Corn Starch/Flour

Our finger paints and the bright colours that we made

How the fun happens baby finger painting

Ok – first I should say this is more of baby exploring paints rather than T painting anything as at 10 months she is way to young to expect to make marks or produce anything instead I am using the finger paints as a sensory experience for her – utilizing her sight, touch and surprisingly smell (oh and in her case also taste!)

Baby using senses to explore paint

T loved the feel of the paints

I put some of the paints on her high chair tray and kept them separate so part of her play would be mixing the colours together which of course she did once she had had a good feel of the paints. She loved the jelly like feel of the paints and enjoyed squishing them between her fingers – it was interesting as well to see her play with the different colours – she was drawn first to the red and then blue and green with yellow being the last for her to play with.

Squishing paint between fingers

T loved picking up the paint squishing them in her hands and splatting back on the tray

Just a warning – don’t do this with liquid food colouring if you are about to go out anywhere as although the paint was easy to clean off the high chair tray and high chair – it wasn’t so easy to clear off of T and until she had a long soak in the bath she was dyed a lovely shade of red.

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