Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


Fingerpainting with very young children - Extra activities - Educatall

Fingerpainting with very young children

You can provide even the youngest children with the chance to experience all the joy that surrounds fingerpainting, a magnificent sensory activity. Doing so simply requires some planning on your part.

First, let’s consider the base material. Instead of using non-toxic store-bought fingerpaints, I suggest using creamy, sugar-free plain yogurt. Of course, you must confirm that yogurt has already been introduced by parents because children are sure to taste it during this activity! Simply add a few drops of food coloring to the yogurt to tint it. If you wish to offer more than one color, you can divide the yogurt in the sections of a miniature muffin tin or an ice cube tray.


Once your “fingerpaints” are ready, it’s time to determine how you want to set little ones up for painting. Here are a few ideas.

  • Have children wear a bib with sleeves that will act as a paint shirt. This type of bib is generally long enough to protect children’s clothing, especially if you are planning on having them sit in their highchair. Set a large piece of waxed paper on their highchair tray or let them “paint” directly on their tray.
  • If the weather is nice, dress children in older clothes and enjoy your fingerpainting activity outdoors. They will enjoy painting on a large piece of paper set on a picnic table or hung on a fence. Simply have facecloths nearby so that you can easily wipe children clean at the end of the activity. If possible, plan to toss their clothes in the washer as soon as you come inside.
  • Set a kiddie pool on your daycare floor and, using adhesive tape, hang several pieces of heavy paper over the sides, letting them hang inside the pool. Wearing only their diaper, let children spread the edible paint on the paper with their fingers. Any “messes” will be contained and since kiddie pools are made of plastic, the surface will be easy to wipe clean.

If you are short on time or want to avoid having to clean the children in your group and your environment, I have another option for you!

  • Pour a small quantity of one or several fingerpaint colors in a paper plate for each child and slide each plate in a large Ziploc bag. Seal the bags. Use adhesive tape to secure all 4 corners of a bag to a child’s highchair tray (or the floor). Encourage children to “paint” by sliding the fingerpaint around with their fingers, through the bag.

Obviously, the use of yogurt-based fingerpaints will not yield lasting masterpieces. Be sure to take pictures of children’s artwork. You can print the pictures and display them on a wall.


Patricia-Ann Morrison


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