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Finger Painting Ideas

Shashank Nakate
The following write-up deals with finger painting ideas and techniques that are useful for developing painting skills in children. It is important that children are allowed to work freely in order to explore their creative instincts.
The art of finger painting is one of the earliest that children are introduced to. Children like to play with colors and finger painting should be introduced to them before they try painting with a brush. This is because painting with fingers can be done in a controlled manner. Even if you are using a brush, it is the strength of fingers which helps in guiding the tool. Finger painting offers the freedom to make bold strokes. Therefore, painting with fingers actually helps in developing brush painting skills in children.
To start with finger painting, children should be allowed to use colors as per their choice and in a manner that they feel comfortable. Using thumb impressions is the best way to start with this process. Making thumb impressions is quite easy and through this activity, children get a basic idea of what finger painting is.
Thumb impressions are used to draw basic animal shapes. Smearing the paper with strokes made by fingers can lead to the creation of amazing designs and shapes. Here are few interesting ideas that can be used for finger painting
  • The most important thing in finger painting is expressing ourselves freely, without hesitation. In process of making strokes and impressions, one learns to develop their own techniques.
  • Experimenting a lot in beginning is the key to developing confidence. Instead of going for intricate and detailed forms of paintings, a variety of flashy strokes can be used.
  • It allows you to experiment with a variety of designs and patterns.
  • One can also experiment with different materials used for finger painting. Materials like flour, liquid starch, etc., are the most suitable for this activity.
  • There is a special kind of wax paper available in the market for finger painting. The glossy appearance of the paper allows to paint with ease. Normally, the paper starts to wrinkle once it gets wet. This kind of paper remains unaffected by moisture.
  • Shaving creams offer the consistency that is needed for painting with fingers. Food colors should be added to the cream for creating different shades.
iPad Apps for Finger Painting
There is a 'Finger Paint' application on the iPad that offers the experience of finger painting. Using this app, you can learn painting with fingers without making a mess. 'OilCanvas' application is another app which you can use for finger painting.
Finger Painting Ideas for Children

There are many finger painting ideas and tricks that children can make use of. The important ones are using thumb impressions and hand impressions. The ideas presented below are suited for preschoolers and even toddlers.
Hand Prints
Creating a painting with hand prints is one of the best ideas for finger painting for toddlers. Such activities and exercises help children become familiar with the art of finger painting.
Finger and Thumb Prints
Drawing a picture of a rainbow with fingers is a great learning activity for children. For painting a rainbow, you need to dip your fingers in the paint and guide them across the paper to create long stripes.
One such method is making flower designs with the help of finger impressions. The impressions of fingers/thumb resemble the shape of petals; you can easily draw flowers with this technique. Similarly, insect body shapes can be created with the help of thumb impressions.
Hand impressions can be effectively used to create different patterns. Body features of insects like the legs, eyes, etc. can be drawn with a pencil.
Use of Instant Pudding
Use of pudding for painting eliminates the dangers of consuming the paint - which tends to happen with kids. Parents can just hand them a spoonful of pudding for the finger painting activity.
Group Painting for Kids
This activity would offer enough practice without wasting paper. Let a group of kids paint on trash bags lined on a table. Pour few drops of paint on these and let the kids enjoy painting different shapes and patterns.
Children need to be guided by elders during the finger painting activity. Adults must converse with children while painting and offer them suggestions if necessary. As an elder, you should understand that children would just want to express themselves through random strokes and patterns.
Don't expect much in the beginning. Children should first get the feel of the colors and paper they are using for this activity. Once they are comfortable with the tools they use, they'll come up with something creative. It may take some time for them to understand and implement different techniques and skills.
The ideas presented in the article should help in providing children and finger painting enthusiasts with the experience of working with colors. The more they practice with or handle the colors, greater is their understanding about finger painting.