I’m looking forward to building my art collection, so I was really excited to introduce my son to this activity! I was tempted to buy finger paint, but since I knew a lot of the paint would inevitably end up in his mouth, I decided to make my own edible finger paint. I like this more because it’s free (as long as we already have the supplies on hand), and because it’s edible and washable. The paintings look nice when they’re dry, too. The colors are pretty bright.
What you need:
- Plain yogurt
- Food coloring (Natural Food Coloring is best)
Choose your painting location–preferably in a contained space. We used the high chair. Easy to clean up, and the finger paint can’t run away and paint the wall.
Mix up some colored yogurt (a small amount of food coloring in the yogurt), give the kid some paper, and let them go! You don’t need that much food coloring because when the yogurt dries, the color is actually darker on the paper than it is when it’s wet. Also, you don’t want the paint to be so dark that it stains the kid and whatever he touches.
Alternatively, give your child the yogurt and stick him in the bathtub with no water and let him paint the tub. When he’s done, just give him a bath. He’ll probably love washing the walls afterward, too, so this is double the activity.
This was my 18 month-old son’s first time finger painting, but he got the idea really quickly. Of course, plenty of the paint got into his mouth, but the beauty of this paint is that it’s okay to eat it! We used plain, unsweetened, unflavored yogurt, so it’s not so tasty on its own that the kid wants to eat it all and not paint with it.
Of course, you can adapt this activity to use what you have on hand. If you have pudding, use that. If you don’t have food coloring, use some cocoa powder to make brownish paint.
Cleanup is easy. Just use a washcloth/sponge, and soapy water. For the kid, depending on how messy he or she is, you might be able to wipe them down, or you might prefer to toss the kid into the bathtub. Because yogurt is a dairy product (and already sour-smelling to begin with), I advocate the bath afterward.
This activity gave us about twenty minutes of fun, but it was our first foray into painting, and he’s only 18 months old. For his age, he paid attention for quite a long time. Older kids might last longer.