It’s no secret that we like to play with our food. I used to love making little gumpaste and fondant creatures for cakes. Sometimes it’s fun getting your hands a little “dirty” with food. As the mom of all boys, I *know* getting dirty!
Today, my 8 year old is sick in bed, so I’m doing all that I can to keep my preschooler out of his hair, allowing him to rest and recover. I decided finger painting would be a fun art project, but alas, we have no finger paints. Truthfully, I have often shopped for craft paints for kids, but havent purchased any because a) they can be expensive b) they say “non-toxic,” but who knows what’s really in them and c) I have to keep art supplies well hidden, lest I wake to find unauthorized art on my walls, cabinets, counters and floors.
So today, we made finger paint. It’s quick, easy and because you make it yourself, you know exactly what is in it. The bonus is that it can be adjusted to make only the amount you need so that there is little waste.
All you need is:
1 C water
1/4 C cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 TBSP sugar
Mix first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan with a whisk and heat over medium just until it starts to thicken. Remember that cornstarch-thickened sauces get more gelatinous as they cool, so you don’t want to cook it too long!
Spoon into jars, add food coloring, mix and allow to cool. Yields approx 1 Cup of paint. Can be scaled larger if you need more. Be warned that food coloring DOES stain, so be sure to have the kids don aprons or old clothes to prevent nice clothes from getting ruined. For fun, you could add a few drops of flavoring extracts to make them smell yummy, and even make different colors different scents!
We found a fall-themed coloring page on the internet and printed it on card stock to serve as the base for our art. Obviously, you could choose any theme or just freestyle paint on plain white if you like! Now go have some good messy fun. No one ever looks back on life and says, “I wish I had spent less time playing with my kids.”