Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Activity: Edible Finger Paint

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!  I know some people get negative and cynical about Valentine’s Day, but I’ve always liked it.  I enjoy an excuse to show my loved ones how much I care.  Hopefully you show your loved ones that you care every day, but it’s nice to have a day where you know (er, hope) everyone is showing the love.

Valentine’s Day is even more fun when you have kids!  G is finally getting old enough for arts & crafts type activities and I couldn’t be more excited!  I decided that I wanted G to make a Valentine’s card for Aaron to tell him what an amazing dad he is.  What better way for a 1 1/2 year old to make a card than with finger-paints?  And with a child who still puts everything in her mouth, I knew we needed to do edible finger paint.

I’ve been pinning edible finger paint recipes on Pinterest for a while and was finally able to try them out.  (Doesn't it feel good when you actually put those pins to use?) There are gazillions of finger paint recipes out there in internet-land!   I decided I wanted something super simple.  Fortunately, I found this blog that gave a bunch of different recipes all in one place.  I chose to try two different recipes.  Each had 3 ingredients: 1) flour, water, food coloring, 2) cornstarch, water, food coloring.

I noticed none of the recipes really gave instructions on the ratio.  Then I discovered why . . . you just kind of mix the water and either flour or cornstarch together until you get the consistency you want and then add the food coloring.  I started with equal proportions of water & cornstarch/flour and then went from there.  The flour mixture definitely required more water than the cornstarch version.  After I mixed up each version of the recipe, I divided it into a muffin tin and added food coloring until I got the color I wanted.
Left: Flour mixture, Right: Cornstarch mixture

Once the paint was mixed up, I stripped G down to her diaper and put her in her high chair.  I taped a piece of construction paper down to the tray of her high chair so that she wouldn’t be tempted to pick it up.  I wanted to test out each type of paint to see which we liked best, so first I let G play with the cornstarch recipe and then we used the flour.  It took me showing her what to do before she really got into it.  But once she realized she was supposed to put her hands in the paint, she had a blast!  She did taste the paint, but very quickly determined she didn’t like it, which was fine with me!

Painting with cornstarch mixture.

Flour finger painting (the sun is mine)

This activity is G approved!

Bottom line on the recipes:
  • The cornstarch paint was fun to play with, but a pain to try to actually paint with.  If we do it again, it will be solely for sensory play, and not to try to create any art.
  • The flour paint was much better to attempt to paint with.  We were actually able to get a couple of symbols onto the page.  If we attempt edible finger paints again, I will definitely be using flour instead of cornstarch.

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