Kids love to unleash their creativity with arts and crafts. Some of those art supplies, though, can be toxic, which is especially problematic for younger children still prone to put everything in their mouths.
How can you encourage artistic self expression and protect your children from chemical exposures? Create your own finger paints from ingredients in your pantry, of course.
So easy a kid can do it
Finger paints are among the easiest arts and crafts for young children. All you need is the paint and a canvas – be it a plate, paper, cookie sheet or tabletop.
If you are going to be covering your kid’s hands with paint, though, you want it to be safe enough to ingest. Good thing that inexpensive kitchen staples such as flour and corn starch can provide hours of creative fun.
Homemade finger paints can be created with a variety of food ingredients. It depends on what you have on hand at the moment, as well as what your child’s allergies and sensitivities might be. Remember, anything your child cannot eat should not be used to create finger paints.
While the recipes are certainly edible, that doesn’t mean that they will necessarily be tasty. However, your kids won’t be ingesting synthetic chemicals or toxins if they decide to put their fingers in their mouth using these non-toxic finger paint ideas:
- This non-toxic finger paint recipe combines sugar, salt and cornstarch, along with water and
food coloring, to create non-toxic finger paints.
- Here’s a great non-toxic finger paint recipe using flour, cooking oil and food colors create finger paints from food-based ingredients.
- Only have cornstarch, water and food colorants on hand? This non-toxic finger paint recipe is for you.
- Martha Stewart even has her own non-toxic finger paint recipe.
A dash of color
Finger paints can be created from just one food, too. Consider using yogurt as an edible finger paint ideally suited for small children. Colors can be added if desired. Pure mashed fruits and veggies are also a colorful finger paint option, whether straight from a baby food jar or mashing up produce from the garden.
It is important to use only organic and food-derived food colorings in any recipe to limit your child’s exposure to synthetic ingredients. Conventional food colorings contain synthetic colorants.
Natural food colorings are available that are derived from fruits, vegetables and other colorful foods. Alternatively, mashed up colorful foods, such as blueberries, can add a non-toxic color to the paint.
Consider pouring portions of the finger paint base into individual sections of muffin tins. Each muffin tin can be individually colored, yet all of the paints are in one container. Ice cube trays are another smart container for smaller amounts of paint. Paints can also be mixed in old glass jars with lids, such as baby food jars, or any repurposed small container, and stored for more arts and crafts fun at a later time.
A few heads ups:
- These non-toxic paints can be a little thicker than store-bought varieties
- Consider using a paintbrush for older children to apply to the paper
- The thicker paint will also take a bit longer to dry.
Now let the kids go (non-toxic) paint the town!
Feature image courtesy of Renate Flynn