It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Ooey-gooey fun!

I found a recipe for finger paint online the other day…

Here’s what it looks like, thickened and ready for the colour:

And here we have the coloured version:
(Note to the wise: though the recipe suggests tinting with food colouring, the smart adult will use tempera paint or powder. Food colouring, though non-toxic, is a DYE, and will stain everything.)

You can expect the children to be a little tentative at first:

But with a little time, they’ll get into it!

Oopy-goopy goodness!

This is one of those projects that is more about the process than the product. This little fellow’s “painting” was more like sculpture when he was done, causing the paper to curl, and, when it was dry and we tried to flatten it, it crackled and bits flaked right off the paper. Now, we were using waxed packing paper rather than proper fingerpaint paper, which may well have been a factor.

It doesn’t matter, though, because they all had a whale of a tactile time.

February 23, 2009 - Posted by | crafts, eeewww | , ,


  1. Your recipe for making finger paint reminded me of the time my husband decided to make play dough for our kids. The recipe called for ‘cream of tartar’, but he added ‘tartar sauce’ by mistake. When I walked in, the kids were wearing rubber gloves to play with the play dough because the smell was so bad. They said he even sprinkled some of his aftershave in it try to get rid of the odor. We’ve never let him forget it.

    I wonder what made it smell so badly? If he were following the recipe, he’d only have put in a tablespoon or so of the tartar sauce (oops!), and tartar sauce doesn’t smell bad, anyway. Now I’m almost tempted to try it, just to see. (Almost tempted; and if I did, it would be a very small batch!)

    Comment by Brianna Popsickle | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  2. Our daughter’s daycare made the food-colouring mistake once on some craft or other. I went to them and asked what the colour was after all my usual laundry methods failed and they were very apologetic and embarrassed. Whatever; toddlers are bound to ruin the odd t-shirt — I was just glad it wasn’t my laundry-fu that was failing!

    Even tempera can stain a bit, particularly the red. When I taught kindergarten, one of the older teachers taught me to mix a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid into each pot of red and purple. It made it wash out more readily. Another tip!

    Comment by Robyn | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  3. Baking soda made into a paste gets most of the food coloring off little hands. Not so sure about fabric.

    I’ll remember that for the next time we make cookies. Thanks!

    Comment by jwg | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  4. did they try to eat it? seems like I always have at least one who does.

    Not this group, though I’d not have been surprised if someone had.

    Comment by kelli | February 23, 2009 | Reply

  5. we make our own playdough, or more to the point my mum does, shes uses food colourng but it sdoesnt seem to come off on anything? I’ll have to check with her!x

    You know what? I use food colouring in my playdough, too, and no (once the playdough is cooled) it’s never come off, but I know it will in finger paint. Something about the constitution of the stuff? The chemical reaction of cooking? The properties of cornstarch vs flour? It’s a mystery!

    Comment by jenny | February 25, 2009 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: