Playing with homemade edible finger paint

Finger paint is a great activity to play with your child. It’s not only fun but it also helps your child explore new senses, experiment with textures, and develop new skills like hand-eye coordination, concentration, creativity, amongst many others.

However, if you try to do this between 12 and 18 months of age, it may happen that your child is more interested in eating the paint than into actually making art  If that’s your case, preparing your own edible finger paint at home could be a good alternative. It may sound complicated, but it’s actually not that difficult. I haven’t done it myself, but I have friends who’ve done it with their children and recommend the experience.

We played with finger paint for the first time when my daughter was around 13 months old I think, we were past the ‘trying to put absolutely everything in my mouth’ phase, so we just used acrylic paint (I recommend this Fingerprint Starter Kit by Crayola which has everything you need, it’s non toxic, and washable). However, if we had tried it a few months earlier, I would’ve definitely made my own edible finger paint at home.

Homemade edible fingerpaint

My friend made these for her 13 month old with baby cereal, water, and food coloring. You can’t probably tell from the picture, but each color has a different texture. In her case, that’s exactly what she was looking for: experimenting with different textures.

The way of preparing these is not special: just mix the ingredients and voilà. She achieved the different textures by simply combining different amounts of water and baby cereal for each color. One thing to take into account is that this mix won’t stay. She got some awesome pics and videos of her baby while playing with the finger paint, and also of the art (see this blog post’s featured image) but the mix won’t dry so you don’t get to keep the drawings.

If you want something a bit more elaborated, this blog post contains precise instructions on how to make edible finger paint. I’m sharing a summary below:

You’re going to need corn starch, cold water, boiling water, and liquid food coloring:

  1. In a pan, mix the corn starch and the cold water till you get a paste.

  2. Pour 1 cup of boiling water and stir till there are no lumps.

  3. Turn on the heat and mix till it starts having streaks.

  4. Turn off the stove and keep stirring.

  5. Split the paste in different containers,  add the liquid food coloring (3 drops of each color), and mix.

  6. Cover and store in the fridge for 2 weeks.

  7. Turn on medium heat on the stove and mix. The mixture will start to change and you will notice some clear streaks forming in the mixture. Once you see this, turn off the heat and continue stirring. It will start to thicken and turn into a wonderful, custard-like consistency.

  8. Before giving it to your child, make sure the paint hasn’t expired.