Mess: first finger painting

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Messy play is not something that I have done much of… I’ve always been a bit reluctant to create (and clean up!) mess. I do craft activities with the boys, but they tend to be drawing/painting/sticking type activities which are a lot more contained and not really all that messy!

But, I have recently been inspired by Jennie at Edspire’s blog and I’ve decided that I need to embrace the mess and get stuck in, literally :)

To ease myself in, I chose to try some finger painting with the wee girl.

First Finger Painting with Baby

I had found a recipe (and even bought all the ingredients) for edible finger paints, but I ran out of time and ended up using the non-toxic Crayola finger paints – and just stopped her from putting her fingers in her mouth… I was almost completely successful with that…!

I used:
Paper plates
Crayola finger paints
Foam/sponge paint applicators
Craft paper
Cut out cardboard shapes (stars)

I put a couple of colours of paint onto paper plates to make it easy for her to get her hands into it and popped her in her plastic chair, stripped down to her nappy (have a way to go in embracing the mess; wasn’t quite ready to let her get paint all over her clothes!).

I taped some paper onto her tray, and taped a star on to that, just to see what she could come up with as a finished project. I wasn’t really sure whether we’d get any further than just getting paint all over her hands, face and tummy!

At first she didn’t quite know what to make of it all. She rather tentatively put a finger into the paint – and then straight to her mouth! I guided her hand to the paper and she rubbed paint onto it.

Once she’d investigated the first plate of paint, I handed her the second. The reaction was much faster this time and her hand went straight into the paint and she grabbed a handful and squeezed it through her fingers. She was fascinated by it.

First Finger Painting 1

I had also bought some sponge paint applicators. I thought that she might like the feel of the sponge and might play with them in the paint. After playing with the sponges for a while, she did dip them into the paint and then hit the paper a few times and spread some paint around.

First Finger Painting 2

Towards the end she was really getting to grips with the paint; it was all over her hands, and her tummy, the chair… but also the paper.

First Finger Painting 3

First Finger Painting 4

She really enjoyed the freedom of investigating the paint and making a mess without being stopped (apart from keeping the worst if it out of her mouth!).

And, we actually have our first piece of artwork :)

First Finger Painting 5

Next on my to do list is to make that edible paint, so that there are no restrictions for her the next time, and to buy a tuff spot! Being in the US, I haven’t managed to find the shallow cement mixing tray (cheaper!) option, but I have found the ‘active world tray’ – so one of them will be winging it’s way to me soon.

There are lots of fun messy, sensory, things that I’d like to try – jelly, cloud dough, coloured spaghetti, ice, ‘treasure’ hunting, shaving foam – with both the wee girl and her 4yo brother (and I think the 6yo would enjoy some of these ideas too, and some ‘world creation’ in the tuff spot).

The world of messy play awaits us – and I can’t wait to jump in!

Although, after the finger painting, the wee girl went straight in the bath…. baby steps for both of us!

The lovely Jennie at Edspire has started a linky for Messy Play in memory of Matilda Mae.

Edspire Messy Play

I’ve also linked this post up to #PoCoLo at Verily, Victoria Vocalises

Post Comment Love

I’m linking this up to the lovely Caroline’s new linky ‘Creative Challenge’. It may be an old post, but it seemed appropriate for my first link up as it was my very first foray into messy play, and was indeed a challenge for me :)

Creative Challenge

20 thoughts on “Mess: first finger painting”

  1. love the fact your stripped her first! .. doh why did i not think about doing that with Joshua! how do you make edible paint?

  2. This looks like you had a complete whale of a time. I was always afraid of a big mess but I wish I had been a bit more relaxed – I will next time around. Thank you for sharing your link to a great cause with PoCoLo and for your support :) x

  3. A lovely post. I’m a bit like you, in that I have to battle with myself to ’embrace the mess’, so I can appreciate that! I think finger painting can be the messiest, so big credit to you for doing that. The pictures are lovely and made me want to get stuck in too! Well done for the beautiful star and what a week to paint a ‘messy star’. Just lovely xx

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  6. Aww, well done you for going for it with paint! Looks like she had loads of fun with it! Though the mess may be scary, I do find it’s usually worth it for the fun they have! Thanks so much for linking with #creativechallenge

    1. She did, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected. We’ve done loads of messy stuff now, but this was our first!

  7. Wow looks like fun. I personally love finger painting but little man is a little phobic. We tried doing some hand prints for Christmas gifts and the response was not desirable! II’m envious of your star.

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