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Finger Painting and its Educational Benefits For Children

Finger Painting: A Fun and Educational Activity

Finger painting is such a fun, messy activity for Children. I love seeing my little one explore colours and textures through this process. Not only is it entertaining, but finger painting also provides several educational benefits. It is mentioned in the EYFS Development Matters Curriculum Guidance from the DfE.

Space Theme FInger Painting Activity Book For Toddlers
The Benefits of Finger Painting

By using their fingers as a painting tool, children are developing fine motor skills. They have to learn hand-eye coordination to guide their fingers across the paper. Finger painting is also helping develop problem-solving skills as kids mix colours to create new shades.

What are the Benefits of Finger Painting?

Here are some of the key educational benefits of finger painting for children:

  • Motor skill development – Finger painting helps strengthen hand muscles and improves fine motor control. It encourages hand-eye coordination.
  • Sensory exploration – Kids explore textures, participate in sensory play, and express themselves creatively through different mediums like paint, pudding, shaving cream, etc.
  • Color recognition – Children learn about primary and secondary colors, how to mix them, and how colors make them feel. This builds pre-math and pre-reading skills.
  • Creativity – During open-ended finger painting, children use their imagination freely without fear of making mistakes. It fosters artistic expression.
  • Cause and effect understanding – Kids see how applying more or less pressure affects the spread of paint on the paper. This aids cognitive development.
  • Frustration tolerance – Making a “mess” but enjoying the process builds frustration tolerance, an important life skill.
  • Social skills – Finger painting can be done alongside friends in group settings, promoting cooperation, sharing and verbal skills.
  • Prepares children for writing – It develops hand muscles needed for holding writing utensils like pencils, crayons and scissors.

Low Demand Creative Activity

Finger Painting sparks creativity as children freely express their imagination without limitations of brushes or pens. There are no “right” or “wrong” ways to finger paint which builds confidence. Sensory exploration of different paint consistencies helps develop early scientific reasoning too. You could add some sprinkles or sand to the paint.

How does finger painting help a child’s development?

How does painting help a child’s development? Finger painting is a creative and sensory activity that can benefit children’s development in various ways. Here are 4 articles on ways finger painting can help children:

Most importantly, it is just plain fun for kids It keeps them entertained for long periods as they focus on concentration. The messier, the better in my book! What are your little ones creating with their fingers today?

Using a Finger Painting Palette

I saw this finger painting palette for just over £1 and thought I would give it a go. As painting requires all the equipment – a range of paints, brushes, palette etc this seemed like a cheap and easy idea. It is brilliant! A decent range of colours and easy to wash off.

A toddler EYFS The Benefits of Painting in child's development

It is now on it’s 5th use. We have extended the finger paint play by bringing in other creative play resources such as stamps, pens to embellish the pictures, and leaf print painting. You can get it from Temu – App Download link or similar finger painting kits from Amazon*

Finger Painting Book Review

As my daughter loves finger paining I bought the Usbourne Finger Painting book: Fingerprint Activities Monsters. I Thought this would be a great way to expend her creativity with it’s prompt pages. There is a whole series including finger print activities Under the Sea, Dinosaurs, Unicorns, Cats and Dogs. All great for exploring a topic your child is interested in using finger painting.

Finger Print Activity Books For PreSchool and Toddlers
A Range of Usbourne Finger Print Activity Books

She loved it getting very excited when I got the finger painting activity book out half-way through the summer holidays. I always have a little bowl with wet paper towel in it for washing fingers. I think as a rainy day activity for a toddler it is a good buy but I prefer the more easily washable paints. An activity for just before bath time with old clothes on.

Usborne Finger Print Activity Book Toddlers
Usborne Finger Print Activity Book

Great Things About The Finger Print Activity Book

  • 7 vibrant finger paint colours provided
  • The book keeps the paint and the activity sheets together.
  • The spiral binding allows you to lay activity book flat
  • Lots of great images and activity prompts
  • The finger paints are very thick and easy to print with

Things To Be Aware Of

  • Requires a certain amount of fine motor skills to finger print in the smaller spaces on the pages
  • The paint is hard to clean off. It needs a full hand wash, the wipes weren’t cutting it
  • The design means you shouldn’t rip off the finger paints section so her arm kept rubbing in it
Finger Painting Activity Book For PreSchool
Finger Painting Activity Book – Arm in The Paint

Making Your Own Finger Paint

There are so many recipes to make your own finger paints.

The simplest edible finger paint recipe is just mixing squirt cream with a couple of drops of food colouring.

Here is an easy finger paint recipe you can make with kids: Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • Food colouring (Food Colouring gel works best)

To Make The Finger Paint:

  1. Mix the cornstarch and water together in a bowl until it forms a thick, paste-like consistency. You want it to be thick enough that it doesn’t drip off fingers but thin enough that it can spread easily. Add a little more water if needed.
  2. Divide the paint between small bowls or cups – one for each color you want to make.
  3. Add a few drops of food colouring to each bowl and stir to combine until the colour is even. Start with just a few drops – you can always add more colour later if needed.
Using Finger Painting Activities
Finger Painting and its Educational Benefits For Children
Finger Painting Benefits For Kids

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