Activity Sneak Peak:
- Under 5 minute set-up time
- Requires only THREE household items
- Multi-sensory activity
- It will keep your baby busy!
Is it possible for a baby to do an art project when they constantly put everything in their mouth? The answer is YES!
Edible finger paint is an easy (yet potentially messy!) way for babies to explore different textures, temperatures, and colors. It is safe for your baby to ingest, but it doesn’t taste yummy, so your little one won’t be tempted to take bite after bite.
This is a multi-sensory activity that uses three common household items. Keep reading for step-by-step directions for edible finger paint. Let your child learn while making art!
What you need:
What to do:
This is a simple activity with very little preparation or set-up. However, there will be varying levels of clean up depending on how much freedom you give your little one.
1. Mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk until all clumps are gone and you’re left with a smooth texture.
2. Divide the mixture into small bowls. Use one bowl for every color you want to use.
3. Add food coloring. Start with 1-2 drops and mix together. If you’d like a darker color, add one drop at a time and mix. Feel free to mix and match colors to your liking. I used two drops to create a lighter color.
4. Paint! Let your little ones get creative as they paint their masterpiece.
5. Display the art. Allow at least 24 hours for the paint to dry. Once it is dry to the touch, frame or hang your baby’s work. Make sure to sign and/or date the painting on their behalf. I love to add dates using number stamps and frames from any dollar store.
- Thicker paper, such as cardstock, or special finger paint paper, is recommended as it is better at absorbing and spreading the edible finger paint. You could even use poster board and let your little one climb all over the paper!
- Tape the paper to your baby’s highchair/table to hold it in place.
- Complete the activity outside and place a plastic tablecloth or splat mat on the ground before painting.
- Strip your baby down to his or her diaper prior to painting.
- Use a waterproof bib to protect your little one’s skin and for easy clean up. Here is Layla’s bib.
- Use a suction bowl to stop your baby from throwing the bowl off the table.
- If you do not have a suction bowl, dump a small amount of paint on the paper and then let them play. Slowly add different colors.
Adapted for Toddlers
Many toddlers are ready for traditional finger paint. However, if you don’t have any finger paint or if you have a baby and a toddler at home, this is the perfect project for everyone!
With assistance, toddlers can:
- Measure the flour and water and discuss liquid vs. dry measures.
- Mix the flour and water.
- Add the food coloring and make observations.
- Create their own colors by mixing food coloring together.
- Paint using a paintbrush, working on fine-motor skills.
- Mix colors as they paint, discussing primary vs. complementary colors.
Skills that this activity addresses:
This is a fun activity that addresses a variety of skills.
For this edible finger paint learning activity, the following skills are strengthened for your baby:
- Language/Vocabulary: Hearing and talking about different textures, colors, and measurements (smooth, cold, liquid, red, etc.)
- Cognition: Learning and understanding new concepts (dry vs. liquid measures, mixing liquids and solids, primary colors, complementary colors)
- Fine motor skills: Improving pincer grasp (thumb and pointer finger brought together) when holding a paint brush.
- Multi-sensory learning: using the whole body as other modes of learning to teach new concepts (besides just speaking to them to learn).