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Finger Painting with Toddlers: Open-Ended Toddler Art Project

Toddlers enjoy getting messy and experimenting with art projects. Finger painting is a wonderful activity for curious toddlers and will help them to express their own creativity. Finger painting can be messy but a little preparation can make it stress-free for toddlers and their parents.
Paint Outside
In nice weather, your toddler will enjoy painting outside. This makes for very easy cleanup and you can enjoy the time with your toddler instead of worrying about where the paint is going to end up. Spread some pieces of newspaper on your driveway or sidewalk and fill a paper plate with a variety of colors of finger paint. Craft sticks make it easy for toddlers to spread the finger paint onto their paper and provide a different texture experience.
Dress for Painting
Have your toddler wear old clothing and a paint smock. These can be purchased or made. One of mom or dad’s old t-shirts can be used for a paint smock and offers great coverage of your toddlers clothing. If you are really concerned about your toddler getting paint on his clothing you can strip him down to a diaper and just plan to have bath time when your toddler is finished painting. Make sure you use non-toxic paint that will not irritate your toddler’s sensitive skin.
Use Your Highchair
Cover your highchair tray with newspaper and strap your toddler into the highchair to paint. This will prevent your toddler from running around the house with paint on her hands and help her to stay focused on the project. Toddler finger paint should wash off any surface of your highchair. You may want to lay newspaper on the floor beneath the highchair so you do not have to wash the floor when your toddler is finished painting.
Encourage Your Toddler’s Creativity
Toddlers will love finger painting with nothing more than paints and paper. You can enhance their experience by providing craft sticks, textured rollers, and other craft supplies that they can easily incorporate into their art work. Be sure and choose materials that have no small grooves for paint to get stuck in. Household items such as empty paper towel holders and old toothbrushes make a wonderful addition to your toddler’s art experience as well.
Supervise Your Toddler
Toddlers need to be supervised carefully while they paint to make sure that they do not try and put any paint in their mouths or accidentally get any paint in their eyes. Paint will wash out of hair fairly easily if your toddler gets some paint on her hair while she is playing, but you will need to be careful that the paint does not drip into her eyes as you are washing it out.