Arts & Crafts

How to Make Homemade Finger Paints

By: Highlights Editorial
A child’s hand, dipping fingers into one of three small jars of paint
minute activity
For All Ages
Fine Motor Skills

Try these easy homemade finger paints made from ingredients you already have around the house. They’re a fun way to get messy and engage your kids in sensory play. And when the kids use cookie sheets as the canvas, the mess is a little easier to clean up.

What You'll Need

What to Do

  1. Mix 4 tablespoons of sugar and ½ cup cornstarch in a pot. Add 2 cups of cold water.

  2. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring until it becomes thick.

  3. When the mixture is cool, spoon it into small containers and add food coloring.

  4. Use your finger paints to make designs on cookie sheets or gloss finish paper.

Extend the Fun

Younger children: As you add the food coloring, talk about colors and how to make new colors. For example, describe the two colors that are needed to make purple. Then, as you help your child add the food coloring, count out loud the number of drops they’re putting in. How many drops does it take to make the color they want?

Older children: These finger paints can make a great gift. Help your child make a set of finger paints and put them in a small container that can be given away. Then they can add a bow on top and write their own to-and-from label.  

Author Photo
By: Highlights Editorial