16 Homemade Recipes for Fingerpainting

Fingerpainting is a wonderful activity for the little ones, and it’s even better when you realize that you don’t have to bother with store-bought fingerpaints for the kids to have a great time. When you use homemade recipes for fingerpainting you know exactly what’s in them–no petroleum derivatives for you! Most of these recipes call for supplies that you likely have already around your house, making them much more inexpensive than store-bought fingerpaints, too.

My favorite thing about homemade recipes for fingerpainting, though, is how many of them there ARE! Want to fingerpaint in the bathtub? There’s a recipe for that!

Want fingerpaint made just from stuff you find outside? There’s a recipe for that!

Want fingerpaint that’s also edible? There are several recipes for that!

So check out the following list of my favorite homemade recipes for fingerpainting. I guarantee that you’ll find some that are so fun, you’ll want to get YOUR hands dirty, too!

finger paint on feet

1. Soap Fingerpaint Let the kids paint the bathtub and shower walls, and then have them hose it down–they’ve just (sort of) cleaned the tub for you!

2. Cornstarch Fingerpaint Cornstarch is the most common fingerpaint ingredient, but many recipes can be overengineered. Here’s an easy recipe.

3. Cornflour Fingerpaint Our friends across the ocean get to make homemade fingerpaint, too–they just use cornflour and castor sugar!

4. Flour Fingerpaint If you don’t love cornstarch, this recipe using flour and sugar is a comparable substitute.

5. Baby Cereal Fingerpaint Recipe You can’t get much more baby safe than making your fingerpaint recipe out of baby food.

6. Expired Sunscreen Or Lotion Fingerpaint I’d check labels very carefully before I let a kid fingerpaint with expired sunscreen or lotion, but if you’ve got some all-natural versions on your hands, then you might as well not waste it!

finger painting
Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr (Creative Commons)

7. Yogurt And Kool-Aid Fingerpaint Kool-aid dyes plain yogurt vibrant colors, but you can substitute natural dyes for it.

8. Herbal Fingerpaint Recipe At the other end of the spectrum, this fingerpaint recipe is all-natural, including cane sugar and arrowroot powder and your choice of kid-safe essential oil.

9. Jello Fingerpaint Recipe This recipe uses watered-down gelatin packets, so it’s taste-safe but not likely to be tasty.

10. Mud Fingerpaint You can’t get a fingerpaint recipe more natural than dirt and water! You might be surprised at how much kids enjoy making and using fingerpaint that’s simply mud, and there’s a lot to explore with it–is the mud from your front yard different from the mud in your backyard? How about the mud from down by the creek? How about mud made from potting soil?

11. Whipped Cream You don’t always need to introduce several colors to a fingerpainting kid–why not just hand them some whipped cream and let them play? Store-bought whipped cream is cheap, but it’s also easy to make your own whipped cream. Feel free to add natural dyes!

12. Potato Flakes Fingerpaint Recipe This is another edible fingerpaint, although it’s not delicious, so kids shouldn’t want to eat much of it. Use any food coloring that you prefer, including Kool-Aid packets.

13. Flavor Creations Fingerpaint In the baking aisle, you’ll find mixes that add color and flavor to canned frosting. Gross, but you can use it to dye most of the finger paints on this list.

14. Vanilla Pudding Fingerpaint Unlike the other edible fingerpaints I’ve listed, this one actually IS delicious!

15. Condensed Milk Fingerpaint This fingerpaint recipe is delicious, too, but so rich that your kiddos probably don’t want to taste it too much lest they get a sore tummy. It’s also going to be quite sticky, which I know makes your heart squirm, but if you’ve got a sensory-seeking kiddo, they are going to just LOVE that extra texture.

16. Edible Glitter You can add this to any of the previous fingerpaint recipes.

Do YOU have a favorite homemade recipe for fingerpainting? Share it with us in the comments below!

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