NATHHAN National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network

Christian Families Homeschooling Special Needs Children

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Finger Painting


    I know, I know, finger painting is such as mess... but finger painting is a valuable form of art expression for children who are limited in motor ability. Get on!


The process of finger painting is more important than achieving a finished product. Once the paint is dry, most children will have lost interest and the fun was obviously in the gooey, fun mess, not the picture itself.


Use finger painting for their pure sensory value or to explore color mixing. Children enjoy selecting colors of paint to add to finger paint bases. They can then mix colors together to create new colors —red and yellow make orange or all colors mixed together make a wonderful brown YUCK!!


Here are some suggestions to help eliminate the stress of mess.


1. Finger paint in the bath tub.

2. Finger paint out side on the lawn on a the picnic table in close proximity to the hose. Finger paint outside on the window.

3. Use a cookie sheet to "contain" the mess somewhat if painting inside.

4. Use an old record player. Poke a paper plate on the pin in the middle. Tape may be needed to hold plate in place. Turn the record player on, and have the child hold drops of paint over the turning plate, making swirls. This is so much fun!

5. Here are some reasons to use finger paint directly on the table top instead of using paper.


A. The paper gets soggy and is hard to handle. When your done, your done, no mess to hang up and hand around to dry, dripping. Not only that, but finger paint flakes when dry and the paper curls.


B. Besides, children usually spread the paint over the paper and the table top or tray has to be cleaned anyway!

C. In the real of creativity, let your children use their imagination and large arm motions.



The paper is limiting in size.

&#Now that we’ve cleared all objections, lets look at some really fun mixtures to make up into hours of finger, spreading fun.



8 cups water

1 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup soap flakes

powdered tempura paint

What to do: Gradually add water tot he cornstarch. Stir and cook over medium heat until "clear". Add soap flakes (or finely grated Ivory soap) and color with tempura if desired.



1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup salt

5 -6 cups water

tempura paint

What to do: Mix dry ingredients. Gradually add water. Cook over medium heat until "clear". Add tempura paint to color.



2 cups flour

1/2 cup salt

water tempura paint

What to do: Mix dry ingredients. Add enough water to make the proper consistency. Add coloring.



4 cups water

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

What to do: Mix dry ingredients. Gradually add water. Cook over medium heat until clear. Color.

Add coloring as needed.