Fingerpaint - how to make it (and how not to)

In an effort to get the kids out from under hubby's feet a couple of weekends ago, I thought I'd give them a go at finger painting. Given our small house, this needs to be an outside activity, the small house being the reason needed to get them out from under hubby's feet.

Ever have those days when you feel you just can't get away from people, and the noise and activity level is enough to just about send you over the edge?
Well, a small house, a cold day, two small, energetic, LOUD boys, and all four of us home because it's the weekend = a recipe for afternoon angst.

So, a quick Google for recipes as it's been a loooong time since I made finger paint when I worked as a nanny. I came up with a cooked version involving cornstarch or cornflour as we call it Down Under, and a quick mix-it-and-use-it version involving flour and water. As I wanted to get the kids outside asap before an explosion happened, I went with the quick version.

Word of advice: do not use a flour and water paste for finger painting.
At least, not if your kids are four and 15 months and are not the sort to sit quietly and finger paint on a piece of paper in front of them.

We got outside, hands were tentatively dipped in, then Mr 15 months flicked his everywhere in an effort to the gloopy stuff off them. Right, washing off the line, pronto. Continue.

Anyway, you can see the results....




This gloop set like stone on the bricks and on the kids hair. Mr four has a #4 haircut so not much problem there, but Mr 15 months has floaty blonde baby hair and he managed to slap a few handfuls of the stuff on top of his head for I know not what reason. After two shampoo washes enough remained that I ended up cutting it out in clumps after a few days. The clothes all went in the washer for an extended go and I had a half-hearted scrub at the bricks but they remain largely blue splattered.

So, next time I plan to try this recipe, or even this one, though I'm not sure I want my kids eating their finger paint so I wouldn't put sugar in as suggested.

This one suggests using yoghurt, which might be a good idea for the very young who of course have a tendency to eat everything anyway.

Oh well, live and learn, right?
At least the bub is too young to be concerned about his now peculiar looking hair....


  1. Delightful!! They look like they had heaps of fun, even if the aftermath was a bit of a hassle!

  2. Another idea which by the way is extremely washable is shaving foam - kids love the feel of it.

  3. Yep, they had lots of fun...shaving foam I've done in the bath before and they slipped and slid everywhere, doing it outside is a much better idea!