So taking some inspiration from TeachMama we set out to try something new today. This week I received an email from Today’s Parent with a link to simple craft supplies you can make with things in your pantry. I make homemade playdough all the time and might try slime one day but today’s experiment was the fingerpaint.
We paint a lot in our house but usually it is with brushes, sponges, potatoes or other objects. Not often do we use our hands. We have fingerpainted in the past but usually we use the store bought varieties.
Here are the directions directly from the website:
Five Fingers (and a HAND) Paint
For quick fingerpaint, dissolve ¼ cup (60 mL) cornstarch in 2 cups (500 mL) cold water. Cook and stir over medium heat (use a wire whisk to keep it from getting lumpy) until it becomes clear and thick. Add a little food colouring or liquid tempera paint. Cool and apply to shiny paper, a high-chair tray or a tabletop.
This seemed simple enough and I even had all the ingredients in the pantry. The girls were playing in the living room and the baby had just been fed so it was time to experiment. I mixed the cornstarch and water and got it heating on the stove – then the baby started to cry. Lesson #1 – When making fingerpaint don’t leave it on the stove too long, it gets lumpy. I managed to save the creation with a bit of heavy duty whisking. Lesson #2 – You need a fair amount of food colouring to get any colour that is not transparent. Once it was made I let it cool on the counter before letting the girls use it.
It seemed pretty slimy and rather translucent when you used it. Parts clumped up while others were runny. Kaitlyn’s first comment was “Mom this stuff doesn’t work very well”. It doesn’t compare at all to the store bought fingerpaint when trying to make a masterpiece. I do however like the fact that it is totally non-toxic. Eileen is still at the stage where she likes to taste everything so I didn’t worry if she tried our fingerpaint.
The one use that worked O.K. was for practicing letters. Kaitlyn used her finger and our homemade fingerpaint to practice all of her upper case letters. They weren’t the easiest to read but it gave her the practice of writing them.
I would love to know if anyone has had any success creating homemade fingerpaint. There are many uses I would love to explore with the girls, especially Eileen as she works to improve her fine motor skills, and the non-toxic aspect is very important.