With Mothers Day right around the corner, I wanted to help my toddler make something special for his grandmothers. This mess-free finger painting craft was not only perfect, but he loved doing it!
A little while after we had finished painting, he kept pointing to the closet where we keep the craft supplies, saying, ‘more.’ So let’s just say this won’t be the last time we paint!
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Why is mess-free finger painting great?
This activity is fantastic because it’s fun for toddlers, babies, and even older kids!
Another huge reason that makes mess-free finger painting great is in the name. It’s mess-free! But the benefits don’t stop there.
If you are doing mess-free finger painting with younger children, it’s a perfect opportunity for sensory learning. Plus, your kiddo will use their fine motor skills to pinch at and push the paint blobs around.
Also, they will be learning about cause-and-effect. They will see that by pushing one color into the next, they will make a new color! This is the perfect craft to start teaching your little one about colors!
So, what will you need for mess-free finger painting?
- Small canvas – We used these flat canvases.
- Paint in various colors – We used these acrylic paints.
- Gallon-sized ziplock bags – I use freezer bags because they have thicker plastic.
- Painters tape – Optional, Frogtape is my favorite brand!
Now, here are the steps for mess-free finger painting:
1. Prep Canvas
In this first step, you will be getting the canvas ready for your kiddo. If you would like to spell or design something simple on the canvas using the painter’s tape, you would apply the tape now.
Then, using the colors you have selected, drop generous amounts of paint onto the canvas. Make sure you alternate the colors so you have an excellent variety to spread around.
In our example above, we used green, white, and blue.
2. Place Canvas Into Ziplock Bag
Once you have all of your paint placed onto the canvas, you will carefully slide the canvas into the bag. Seal the bag, making sure to let most of the air out.
- For a more sensory experience, add water beads to the bag after putting the canvas in! Water beads add even more squishy fun for your child.
- If you want to secure the bag down for a younger child, go ahead and tape the sides to the floor using the painter’s tape.
3. Let the Fun Begin!
This is the best part; let your kiddo squish away! It’s so fun to watch their curiosity while they try to pinch the paint blobs and move the paint around.
4. Let the Painting Dry
Once your kiddo finishes with their finger painting, you will want to take the canvas out of the bag. Warning: you will most likely get paint on your fingers! But acrylic paint washed off fairly easily.
Have a plastic bag or some paper towels laid out to lay the canvas on while it dries.
As you pull the painting out of the bag, you might feel that you are removing all of the paint off of the canvas. That’s ok! What ends up happening is the paint splotches turn into swirls, like the picture above, and it turns out very cool!
5. Add Some Flair
Once the painting is dry, you can leave it as is, or you can add some extra special touches!
In our example above, we used this as a Mother’s day activity, so I painted “best grandma ever” on it since my son is too little to write. You can use this idea for any holiday and write things like, “best mom/dad ever,” or you can paint whatever you want on it!
If you aren’t good with using a paintbrush, you can get these super easy paint pens to make writing on canvas easier!
And then, you’re done!
If you are doing this activity for babies between the ages of 6-months and 12-months old, you can tape the canvas to their high-chair table. The high-chair will help to support them and keep them engaged.
For older children past the toddler stage, have them make a design on the canvas with the painter’s tape before adding the paint blobs. They could even try to spell their name with the tape, and then you can hang the painting in their room!
And there you have it! I hope you and your kiddo enjoyed doing this craft together! I would love to know how your experience when in the comments below.
Before you go, check out these related articles:
- 9-Month-Old Activities Your Child Will Love
- Simple 12-Month-Old Activities
- 12-Month-Old Toys That Promote Motor Skills
- 18 Easy St. Patrick’s Day Crafts And Activities For Toddlers
- The Best Spring Outdoor Activities For Kids
Also, I would love to see your kiddos finished paintings! Feel free to tag me on Instagram at @gladtobemama. 🙂