Searching for a great finger-paint recipe: Part 2; and dance party painting!

Well, I realized that it has been ten months (!) since I tried a finger-paint recipe, and since the last post indicated that I was searching for a really good recipe, I thought I’d better try a new one. This recipe is really simple. Just two ingredients. Well, three if you count pigment. Flour, water, and food coloring are all you are going to need to whip up a batch of paint.

We decided to use this paint at a dance party session (Little O is in love with dance parties). We kicked it up a notch by adding paint.

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I put the paint on wax paper which was taped to the floor at one end of the paper. You could also use a cookie sheet, aluminum foil, or any other large flat surface that you’ve got kicking around. You could even put it directly on the floor, but I was lazy and didn’t want to mop.

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I liked this paint better than the cornstarch paint. It was a little thick, but it felt more like paint and didn’t get lumpy. The pigment was okay, but I wanted more staying power…it didn’t transfer to the paper like you’d really want, so the paint had to be very thick on the paper to be vibrant. Overall it was a good recipe, and I think the boys had fun stomping around in it. With the music and squishy paint on feet, I think it is a great sensory activity for toddlers.

I found the recipe over on TinkerLab, so head on over there if you want to make it, she’s got a great tutorial on how to make it.

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Snow Painting

A friend of mine needed some last-minute babysitting. I wasn’t busy, so I said, “sure! bring them on over.” (Plus I owed her a favor as she had done some last-minute babysitting for me a few weeks earlier. My only dilemma was how to keep the kids happy while they were over at my house. Luckily we had some fresh snow, so I mixed up some spray bottles with water and food coloring, and let the kids go crazy in the back yard. It was a hit.

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I’ve seen people do this activity with eye-droppers or condiment bottles. These kids were perfectly thrilled with the spray bottles. We put them on the “stream” setting and tried to get them to go as far as we could. The littlest one had a bit of a hard time getting her fingers around the trigger, so I wished that I would have had a squeeze bottle for her. Alas, not one was to be found at my house. I’ll need to pick some up at the dollar store next time I go.

Next time we do this I think I’ll mix up the type of dispensers and have a spray bottle, a squeeze bottle, and maybe a watering can (Little O cannot get enough of the watering can.) If you do this, prepare yourself from the cold as the kids won’t want to come back inside, and make sure the kids are wearing coats with a synthetic material on the outside. That way if the colored water gets on their coat it will wipe right off.

A Trip to the DAM

A couple of weeks ago Little O and I took some friends to the Denver Art Museum. I wanted to see Nick Cave’s exhibit Sojourn, before it closes in September. We’d seen the performance of Heard: DAM earlier this summer and liked it so well we decided the show of soundsuits was a must-see. Before visiting Sojourn, we visited an installation by Nick Cave that will be at the DAM for one year. Second Skin consists of some video of his soundsuits in action as well as a huge felt wall with silhouettes of soundsuits and some mannequins draped in felt that you can decorate with cut felt shapes.
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We all had a lot of fun sticking shapes onto the wall, mannequins, and floor. (I’m not sure that the floor was meant to be decorated, but that’s what happened.) I was really pleasantly surprised to see this installation, because I had considered doing a huge felt wall in my basement playroom for Little O after seeing a felt Christmas Tree toy for toddlers. Seeing the boys have so much fun with this got my creative juices flowing, so don’t be surprised if you see a post for a DIY Nick Cave-inspired felt activity post in the future!