Wednesday, March 19, 2014

finger painting with a toddler: a simple first art activity


Remember those fun language games we've been playing that come
BEFORE practicing the letters of the alphabet?

Yes? If not, please check them out here!

Well, this week, we decided to try out an art activity that comes
BEFORE using crayons, markers, pencils, etc...

finger painting!

A few weeks ago, I read a post on Montessori in Mars 

Her words really resonated with me because
I'd been feeling some pressure from friends and family - even E's doctor -
to have her drawing with crayons and making "crafts."

While I am really excited for her to do those things,
I don't feel like she's quite ready yet...

She still uses a fisted or palmer grip - which is natural,
I just don't want her to become accustomed to holding a pencil this way.
Also, she still takes bites off pencils, erasers, and crayons - yum! ;)

[Young children] appreciate how they can easily see the color/s on their paper, unlike the light lines that they tend to end up making with crayons because they have yet to develop stronger fine motor skills." - Teacher Mars

Elise is interested in making marks on paper with writing utensils, though,
so we haven't been avoiding them altogether...

Instead, I've been trying to offer her lots of other opportunities to strengthen her fine motor control:

We tried out the Imagination Tree's Homemade Edible Finger Paint Recipe.
Not only did it turn out great, but it was REALLY fun to make.
(FYI, the magic happens when you cook it!)

Here's a little more finger paint inspiration from around blog land:


  1. The colors are so beautiful, Anne! And it looks like Elise (love her apron!) had a lot of sensorial fun, really getting her hands into the paint!

    And AHA! Thank you for mentioning that we'd have to cook the recipe. I tried Imagination's Tree recipe and it remained watery--I'll try it again today, this time, cooking it. :)

    Thanks for mentioning my post, Anne! I'll update that post and link back to this one.

    1. Thank YOU for the inspiration! At first, Elise was hesitant about touching the paint, and then she totally got into it! It was so much fun! As for the mixture initially being really watery, I had the same concerns, but cooking it thickens it right up - it's a little like a science experiment!

  2. I want to try this with my daughter too..

  3. Hi Anne, lovely post as always! Elise seems to have had a lot of fun! I also read that post on Montessori on Mars recently and it also left me thinking. I have never avoided pencils and such before with Finn and luckily he seems to instinctly know how to hold them properly (i'm sure all the other fine motor activities help a lot!) Thanks for linking to my blog!

  4. Yes! I did have to cook mine as well to thicken it! Love the colors you chose so different than mine and yet so appealing! Thanks for linking up.


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