a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Variety of Homemade Finger Paints

Are you ever at your wit's end, trying to come up with an easy idea to keep restless kids occupied?

Have you ever made finger paints?

Below are three different finger paints created from items you probably have at your fingertips!

These paints can be used on any non-porous surface including some table tops - plastic trays - cookie sheets and/or. . . for traditionalists: white shelf paper, butcher paper or other slick paper.

If you are a calm mom, you can let your children have fun and be creative in the house. If such an indoor activity blows your mind, use it for a great outdoor event, followed with a run through the sprinkler!

Shaving Cream Finger Paint
A can of non-mentholated shaving cream squirted on a non-porous surface. You can sprinkle on some powdered tempera* paint for added interest. As the working area dries, it can be perked up with a few drops of water or more shaving cream. When play time is over, the surface will clean up easily.

Edible Finger Paint 
Mix up instant pudding as directed and let thicken. You can use different flavors for different colors or you can divide vanilla flavored and tint with washable food coloring or small amounts of different flavors* of powdered soft drink mixes. They can "erase" and draw over and over again at the same sitting, and it won't hurt one bit if they lick their fingers!

"Traditional" Finger Paints
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 T. sugar
2 cups cold water
dish washing liquid (not dishwasher!)
food coloring*

In a small bowl, add gelatin to 1/4 cup warm water and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch and sugar. Gradually add the cold water and cook slowly over low heat, stirring until well-blended. Remove from heat and add softened gelatin. Divide mixture into as many separate containers as you want colors. For each color first add a drop or two of liquid detergent and then add food coloring a drop at a time until you have the shade you want. Store in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to six weeks.

* I want to caution about the colors. Remember I am old and it has been a long time since my friends and I made this stuff for our kids. I don't know much about "modern" day paints, food colorings, and kool-aid type colorings, so I would proceed with caution if I wanted to add color. I would try it out in an inconspicuous area first. It is still fun stuff without the coloring if that is a worry.

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