I learned a lot during this activity. The moral of the story is that Riley is growing up and her play is changing! I thought I had great ideas for enhancements to this activity. I quickly found out they were not great. Ha-ha. It’s all a part of the play experience though. Watching and learning from your child’s cues. For more on what didn’t work out, read Riley’s experience.
- Finger paint (We like to use Crayola)
- Salt (just about a teaspoon per paint)
- Paint brush, stir stick, spoon (something to mix the paint and the salt)
- Containers to put the paint in or a paper plate
- Waterproof mat or plastic table cloth
- Painters’ tape to tape the plastic table cloth down
- Paint brushes, sponges, toys, utensils to play with in the paint
- Set up the paint area. Lay down your mat or plastic table cloth. Tape down the plastic table cloth if you child is likely to pull it up during.
- Prepare the paint. Pour each color of paint in its own container. Mix the salt into each container of paint. The paint will become thicker and maybe even chunky.
- Lay the cardstock, paint, and tools on the mat.
- Let your little one explore!
Note: This paint is thicker and doesn’t spread like typical paint does. When it dries, the paint should have a gritty, sandy texture. Be sure to let your little one explore their masterpiece after it is dry too!
It is amazing how quickly your child grows and changes. Last time we finger painted was at the end of March. I had given her paint in small Pyrex containers which worked out really well; much better than the paper plate did the time before. She was able to handle the jars, but didn’t flip them over, throw them, or drop them. She remained seated the whole time and she happily painted everything-mostly herself.
So, again I used the small Pyrex containers because they worked well last time. Well, I’ve learned Riley is stronger now. She also loves to try out walking and standing any chance she gets. She decided to stand, pick up the glass Pyrex containers, and then proceeded to drop/throw them to the ground! Yeah... I quickly decided no more paint containers. I also thought it might be fun for her to use a spork to paint with. That was a definite no-no as she tried to eat the paint then. We quickly lost the sporks as well. She was left with gobs of paint on her papers, and sponges. She enjoyed crawling, standing, walking on her painted picture, picking up globs of paint, moving the gobs on and off the picture, and then trying to pick up the paper she was standing on-effectively ripping it. It was quite an adventure.
- Fine motor skills: Your child is exercising their hand and finger muscles as they grab, hold, and manipulate the paint and various objects.
- Gross motor skills: If your child is like Riley, they are working on balance, coordination, and exercising their large muscle groups as they walk, crawl, squat, stand, and throw during this activity
- Cognitive development: Painting is a sensory experience. The salt adds a different tactile experience to finger painting. When multiple senses are engaged at the same time during play, stronger neural connections and pathways are formed.
- Language development: Expose your child to contextual vocabulary as you talk about the experience. They may hear words such as “chunky”, “thicker”, different color words, “paint”, “gritty”, etc.