Finger Painting

Finger Painting

Let your child enjoy the sensation and texture of sliding their fingers through paint and watching as patterns emerge where their fingers have been.


  • Jug/kettle or saucepan
  • 2 cups cornflour
  • 3 Tbsp hair conditioner(organic if possible)
  • Large bowl
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup hot water
  • Several small containers
  • Few drops of food colouring or water-based poster paint
  • Old plastic tablecloth or shower curtain/tarpaulin
  • Paper
  • Apron or old clothes

Boil water ensuring your child is well clear of this process.
Encourage your child to mix the cornflour and hair conditioner in the bowl with the cold water. Once combined,you will need to gradually add in the hot water a little at a time, stirring until the mixture becomes smooth and thick. Leave to cool. Separate the mixture into small containers and add a different drop or two of food colouring or paint to each container and ask your child to mix until they are happy with their colours. Cover your painting area – a table or on the ground outside – with your plastic cover to protect surfaces from splatters. Give your child some paper or encourage them to use the plastic cover as their painting surface. Encourage your child to dip their fingers into the paint – now stand by and watch their delight!.


  • Small muscle skill development
  • Imagination and creativity
  • Colour recognition
  • Taking responsibility and following instructions
  • Sensory development, such as touch
  • If your child is initially reluctant to get their hands full of paint, supply alternatives such as
  • a brush, small sponge or cotton balls
  • Have a bucket of water and a towel handy for washing hands and cleaning up afterwards
  • Keep paint away from small mouths and eyes
  • Finger-paint can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days

Learn more about Painting and Drawing with BestStart's 16 Areas of Play