Last year for Mother’s Day I wanted Miss A to do something special for my mum and mother-in-law.I’m always stumped for gifts for these two fabulous ladies, and I thought something that their granddaughter made would be perfect. Enter Pinterest. I saw this adorable idea and thought: “we can totally do this.” I bought a couple of photo frames from Wal Mart and took a photo of her painting and filled the top space with that and the bottom space with an actual painting that she created. It was such a big hit! Her grandmas loved them!
Here’s a photo of our little doll enjoying herself! Note: I will admit that I sort of had to force her to “paint” on the paper, she was WAY more interested in tasting the paint.
Miss A was only 10 months old at the time and was at that stage where
EVERYTHING went in her mouth..actually, she’s still in that stage! I was worried about buying finger paints, so I decided to make my own. This is the recipe I used:
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 cups cold water
- food colouring
1) In a saucepan, mix all the ingredients together except the food colouring. Cook over medium-low heat, heat the mixture for about 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure that you are stirring the mixture the entire time it is on the heat
2) After the finger paint has thickened take the pan off the stove immediately, and let the mixture cool. I split the mixture in four plastic bowls to cool.
3) In each bowl, I used several drops of food colouring to create the colours that I wanted. This recipe makes a lot of paint, so you could make several colours. I just stuck to red, green, yellow and blue.
I was so proud of myself and my homemade finger paint that I posted this photo on Facebook and I had over 30 people ask me for the recipe. A lot of the mamas asked me if the painted stained my little babe’s fingers. The answer is no; I didn’t have any trouble with staining, but it did get me thinking about natural food dyes and whether or not it was a good idea to let her eat it the stuff with food colouring in it.
So, a few months later, we tried again, but this time, I avoided using food colouring and instead I made my own natural food colouring. Now, there are lots of different ways to make these colours, but, when you’re 8 months pregnant, trying to get settled and unpack a house while simultaneously trying to take care of a toddler and get ready for Christmas, easy is always better!!
Here’s what I did:
Yellow: 1/2 tsp of stale turmeric (I know some of you may think that this will stain, but it actually didn’t stain her fingers!)
Red: Brew a really strong cup of raspberry tea and use one cup of that and the other cup of water (make sure tea is cool) (3 teabags into one cup of water)
Blue/Purple: Blueberries from my Costco berry mix. I just mashed up some berries and put the juice in the mixture
Green: 30 drops of chlorophyll concentrate made a nice green colour
The colours weren’t as vibrant as when I used store-bought food colouring, but I felt a little bit better about letting her eat the stuff. We were also gifted a couple of colours of Maggie’s Natural Food Colouring, but at $12/colour, I didn’t want to use it on an art project. You can find Maggie’s Food Colouring at Raspberry Kids–one of my favourite Canadian owned Kid’s stores!
Miss A wasn’t nearly as excited about the whole thing this time around (go figure). I had to force her to sit still and actually paint. She wanted to get up and run away with the paint bowls! Oh, and she didn’t even TRY to taste the stuff! Sigh….
This article was written by Andrea
Have any of you tried making finger paint? Do you have a fool-proof recipe to share? What about natural dyes? We’d love to hear your ideas!