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fun (and safe) finger painting with toddlers


The key to taming the chaos in our house is keeping the kids occupied…or at least focused on something of my choosing. With two 2 year-olds running around there’s not always a lot of time for preparation though, which is why I love projects that are easy to do on the fly and have a predictable amount of mess. As any mom knows, it’s hard to come up with fresh and fun ideas on the daily when you are covered in food and/or boogies, trying to make sure everyone gets three meals a day (as required by law), and struggling to remember everyone’s poop schedule. That’s why I, like everyone else on planet earth, love Pinterest. Sometimes Pinterest is absolutely drunk, but sometimes you can find some pretty cool ideas on there.
This week – I’m sharing my experience with finger painting with the very littles.  At the time, Indiana was going through an ‘everything must be edible’ phase (which incidentally, she’s not totally out of yet, as evidenced last night by the blue marker in her hand and the suspiciously color matched lips) and I was concerned about the volume of paint that she would ingest while I was busy trying to manage the whole operation.  Pinterest came to the rescue with this blog by Red Ted Art: cute & easy crafts for kids – it’s an awesome recipe for finger paint made out of corn starch so even though it’s not meant to be eaten, it’s also not packed with undesirable ingredients and chemicals that you have to worry about.  The whole recipe comes together in about 10 minutes and because I 100% went down the rabbit hole on an advanced food coloring collection when I went to the grocery store crafty, I got really into customizing the colors of the paints.  The clean up is too easy too since the paint pigment isn’t too saturated.  All in all, it was perfect for the kids to play around with the texture of paint and the action of painting without the worry of the one kid who swore she wasn’t eating the paint…even though her entire mouth was turquoise and yellow…

RECIPE

Visit Red Ted Art Blog for more details and other cute and easy crafts for kids 

  • 3 tbs sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 2 cups water

Combine everything in small saucepan, stir together and warm until mixture thickens. Let it cool a bit, then pour into containers and add food coloring to create different colors.

TIPS:

            - I used a roll of white paper for most early painting/coloring projects since kids don’t have a huge appreciation for paper edges…or wet paint for that matter. This way, the paper is taped to the table (so it can’t be thrown on the floor or smashed against another kids face, hypothetically of course) and there is less table clean up. I just cut the pictures down/apart after the paint dried.

            - We paint naked and with hair in pony or pig tails…this stuff is pretty easy to clean up, but sometimes it's just easier to cut out more work before you make it, ya know? 

            - I stored our paint in some small plastic food containers so that we could use it again, but when I opened it a couple of days to a week later, it did have some mold on top so it's not great for long term storage. Not a huge deal considering how quick and easy the recipe is, but good to know!

            - FUN FACT – Purple isn’t as easy to mix as you would think – hence the brown/maroon color


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