Friday, October 28, 2011

Homemade Fingerpaints

I love to fingerpaint and it's something I've been looking forward to trying with the boys.

(They already create works of art on their high chair trays with their food, so I figure they'll be naturals.)

But I had several problems. 1) I'm cheap and didn't want to pay for fingerpaints, especially not knowing how it would go. 2) They are going to eat the paint. I just know it will happen and I didn't love the idea of them eating commercial paint with chemicals.

Well pinterest saved the day yet again, by exposing me to the world of homemade fingerpaints!

So, so, so easy and fun to make.

{I used this recipe}

{brown, pink, blue, purple, green, orange, yellow, red: all made from a basic blue/red/green/yellow food coloring kit}

BONUS: I found a use for all those baby food jars that I convinced my husband we needed to hold onto so sure they'd be useful for something.
Here a few things I learned/want to try differently:

1. One batch of the recipe I made filled 4 baby food jars (each baby jar held ~1/2 cup).

2. I mixed the base paint with food coloring before putting it into the jar. This was much easier than trying to mix them in the baby jar with that tiny opening.

3. The recipe was easiest to work with while still warm (see below).

4. These paints were the perfect consistency warm, but once they cooled they were super thick. I think I'll try cutting down the cornstarch next time to see if that helps (or maybe cut down the cooking time?). For now I'll trying warming them up a bit before using or adding some water to them or maybe just doing both. I'll let you know how it goes.

5. Go easy on the food coloring! A little goes a long way and adding more or less really gives you a lot of options for colors (i.e. pink and red are the same food color just with more or less added).

6. So I made these for the boys' birthday or and Christmas present (let's be honest I'm pretty sure they'll be thrilled to open these on their birthday and then pull them out of their stockings one by one Christmas morning.) But in my haste to get started on Christmas and birthday presents I didn't think through the fact that these are made out of food products (do homemade fingerpaints get moldy? Anyone?). Hmmmm...I decided to store them in the fridge until birthday time and see how it goes. Worse case scenario I cook up another batch post haste, but they are so easy and cheapity-cheap that it wouldn't be a big deal.

I'm pretty sure I set the stage perfectly for the boys to want to dig into these. How you ask? By taking these pictures while the boys were awake and wanting to get their chubby little hands on them, which of course I didn't allow. Forbidden object + my children = pure childhood joy and delight. Maybe I'll try this reverse psychology if they ever refuse to eat their vegetables...

If the boys enjoy these as much as I enjoyed making them it'll be a happy day in our house!

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