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.

The following two tabs change content below.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and now mum. She's passionate about supporting learning at school at home, bringing books alive, giving kids life skills and exploring the world around us sharing Creative, Family Friendly, Fun Ideas for the whole family on Rainy Day Mum

Latest posts by Cerys Parker (see all)


    • says

      Our high chair tray was well and truely stained or at least appeared to be – but I use milton spray once a day to clean it and I find that removes every and all stains (works on coffee stains in cups as well)

  1. Lissie says

    We finger painted today with sugar free cool whip and a few drops of food coloring. We didn’t have any stains but I didn’t have to add much food coloring to the cool whip to make it bright. And in the end it didn’t last as long as my lo would have liked. He started eating too much of it and not playing. But he had fun playing and he is 7 months.

  2. Jessica says

    Did the ingredients have to used for each color or did you separate it beforee adding the foood color?

    • says

      I separated the mixture out into containers then added the food colouring – you would have way too much. The jars above were made from the mix plus a jar of plain that I left for mixing more if needed.
      Cerys Parker recently posted..Cooking with KidsMy Profile

  3. Laura says

    Used this recipe today for play time with four babies aged between 7.5 and 8.5 months. Swapped the food colouring for fruit with strong colours. I used spinach, blackberries and dried apricot. I stewed each in a little water, puréed with a hand blender then passed through a sieve before mixing. Stored in fridge overnight and stirred before using. I did chuck afterwards as unlike food colouring will go off. Great colours, great recipe for the base mix and safe. Thanks for sharing with us, we had a great time!

  4. says

    Great idea to make your own. I’ll take it one step further and say use organic corn starch and food coloring. If it’s not you can bet it’s been genetically modified. Laura I love your idea about using fruits and spinach. Brilliant!
    Scrapless Press recently posted..Precious Birth AnnouncementsMy Profile

  5. says

    ?i there! This is kind of off to?ic but I ?eed some hedlp from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.

    I’mthinking about setting up my ?wn but I’m not sure where to begin.
    Do you have ?n? tips or suggestions? With thanks recently posted..rconormicaela.soup.ioMy Profile

  6. says

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and
    amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is something not enough folks are speaking
    intelligently about. I’m very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something concerning this.

    Feel free to visit my website: @
    @ recently posted..@My Profile


  1. […] I want to get creative with some of the things I do with him so again I turned to my trusty friend Google and started looking at other blogs with ideas for things to do. I particularly wanted to know more about finger painting and find a recipe I could make at home easily that would be ok if Monkey ate it. He puts EVERYTHING in his mouth so being edible was a key feature for me. I found the lovely blog of Rainy Day Mum and her recipe for finger paints, which can be found here. […]