• ellengulson

Painting - Their favourite and our worst nightmare

Have a free afternoon at home and nothing to do? Stuck at home in isolation/ quarantine? Finger painting with your kids is messy, chaotic and actually really fun for the whole family. While I’m the first to admit that i don’t love doing ‘craft’ with my kids, this is a simple, cheap, fun activity for a sunny afternoon at home.

What you’ll need:

  • Some kid-safe, washable paints (I use the paints from Ikea, but there are lots around)

  • 1 cup of plain flour

  • a ketttle full of boiled water

  • Some plastic takeaway containers

  • A bowl

  • A wisk

  • butchers paper/ scrap paper/old newspaper

How you do it:

  1. Pour the cup of flour into a bowl and slowly add water, whisking quickly. I tend to add about a cup of water at a time and only add more once I’ve mixed it through - but don’t over think it, your kids will not care about lumps of flour in the paint. Keep adding water until the mixture is the consistency of snot / that glue you used to use at primary school 🤣

  2. While the glue mixture is cooling, squeeze a table spoon amount of paint into each of your containers. Then add some glue mixture to each of your containers. If it’s still warm, that’s absolutely fine, you just want it to be cool enough for the kids to touch and play with 👍

  3. Mix the glue and paint together to get the finger paint consistency. Not only does adding the glue make the paint much easier for the kids to pick up, it makes the paint go so much further, making it a much more cost effective activity. Roll out your butchers paper/lay out the old newspaper and call over the kids. I tend to do this activity outside and get the kids to strip down to their undies (or even in the nude for the littlest ones), but that’s just because I hate doing laundry 😁

  4. Let the kids loose with the paint. Little hands and feet will love the feeling of smearing the paint everywhere. As you can see from the pictures, my kids were happier painting themselves than the paper, but the mess is part of the fun.

This activity probably took me about 10 mins to set up, and then the kids probably only painted for about 15-20mins. Showers and clean up then took another 15mins, so all up this was probably only a 45min activity for my kids, but yours might have longer attention spans than mine. The cost was probably only 10c worth of flour, $1 worth of paint and another $1 worth of paper, all of which I already had in the cupboard. So a very cost effective afternoon activity.

Hot tip: I let the paper dry and then re-use the kids “artwork” to wrap birthday presents. It adds a really personal touch when giving gifts, saves money on wrapping paper, is environmentally friendly and gives people the impression that I’m a super involved, ‘crafty’ mum (when the truth is that I only doing this kind of activity once every few months🤫)

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