If you spend time around young children and find them bored on a rainy day, a fun activity is to let them finger paint (assuming you are ready to devote one hundred percent of your energy to the process!). Local stores and online companies carry a wide selection of safe, non-toxic, washable finger paints for kids, but it is also fun to make your own. Children love being able to mix their own paints, too!
Here are some recipes to consider, and you can find lots more on the internet.
Cooked Starch Method
Dissolve 1 cup of laundry starch or cornstarch in a small amount of cold water. Slowly add 5 cups of boiling water. (Best do this part yourself.) Cook the mixture until thick and glossy. Add 1 cup mild soap flakes. Add color. Cool before using.
Liquid Starch Method
Place 1 tablespoon liquid starch on glossy paper. Children can shake on different colors of tempera powder with a salt shaker.
Soap Flake Method
In a small blow, mix soap flakes and a small amount of water. Beat with an eggbeater until stiff. You can use this white finger paint on dark construction paper, or add color to use on white or lighter colors of paper.
Children can finger paint on trays (that can be washed off later), on self paper, glossy magazine covers or pages, or on regular finger paint paper.
A clothesline and clothes pins are useful to attach wet finger paintings for safe drying. When my girls were young I kept a line stretched in an out-of-the-way place in our basement with clothespins nearby. We could put up the completed paintings and let them dry overnight. Large paintings can make nice wrapping paper for gifts that children give to others. Smaller paintings can also be folded and used as cards to send or enclose with gifts. The list of possibilities is endless! Let your kids unleash their creativity!