Finger painting - two words to send shivers down the spines of mums everywhere! But it doesn’t have to be messy when you know how to control it. When you find out how many developmental, educational and creative benefits your child will gain from finger painting, you won’t mind a bit of mess!
Before we get into how to control the mess, let’s explore the benefits of painting with your fingers:
An obvious one, finger painting exposes kids to colours and colour mixing
All five senses are used: sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste (if you’re using edible paint). This type of activity that uses a lot of sensory integration will set your child up for success later in life when they learn about spatial, math and language concepts.
As well as helping the brain and body integrate information, it is also a relaxing, creative way for children to express their feelings.
Finger painting focusses on the process rather than the finished product
When it is done on the floor, kids will develop balance, gross motor control and spatial awareness.
When kids use their hands to manipulate the paint it will help finesse their fine motor skills which will become extremely important for using eating utensils and learning to write.
When you talk about the experience with your child and explain the smell, colours, texture and taste it will help develop their language skills.
It’s a great way to have fun!
Now here’s how you control the mess so your child can experience all these amazing physical, creative and social benefits of messy play;
- Do the activity either outdoors or in an area of your home close to a sink.
- Even better, do your finger-painting in the bathtub
- If doing a messy activity inside, lay down a large sheet to protect floor coverings
- Have a wet washer or baby wipes very close by
- Make sure your child is wearing old clothes and pop them straight in the washing machine when the activity finishes. On a warm day, clothes are optional.
- Explain to your child that you are doing a special activity where they are allowed to make mess but only in the confines of the designated area of your choice.
- Expect that there is going to be a bit of a mess and try not to get stressed out by it. Paint washes off.
Finger painting is such a fun activity for babies and preschoolers to participate in. The benefits are undeniable and with a bit of planning and preparation you can set up a finger painting activity for your child with minimal stress and mess. It’s a great way to have fun and bond with your child. Be a fun mum, try finger painting today!
The beautiful pictures in this blog post were taken by Storm from @through_our_days. You can see more of her motherhood journey here.