Grandparents Teach, too

Provide easy summer finger-painting sessions

Young children love painting with brushes, sponges, or almost anything. But what they like best is to paint with their fingers. Bright colored homemade or commercial finger paint works just fine. Children can put on some plastic gloves and mimic Iris Scot’s dots and swirl paintings.

It is also fun to finger paint with products you have around the house. You’ll need some supplies like shaving cream in a can, food coloring, instant pudding, milk, Greek yogurt, paper, gallon size plastic bags, bowl, whisk, waxed paper, a cookie sheet. and plastic gloves.

Pudding paint

You can try colored vanilla pudding paint and whipped cream first. This is a great learning experience for measuring and following directions. Stirring is also important for brain development.

Before painting with pudding make sure everyone washes hands. Who can resist licking fingers? Pudding paintings can be made on paper covered with waxed paper, cookie sheets, or clean countertops.

Besides making dot pictures, children can practice making letters, numbers, and geometric shapes. Children learning to print can practice feeling what they are writing. Touching a writing surface with their pointer finger helps children make letters and numbers the correct way, especially when they are reversing numbers like 3’s, 5’s,7’s, 9’s or b’s and d’s. Make the figures on paper and cover with waxed paper for copying. Children can help to clean up the mess when finished.

Shaving cream painting

Another great finger painting medium is shaving cream in a can. Because it is a soap product, cleanup is very easy. Shaving cream can be sprayed directly on a table, counter top, cookie sheet, or colored paper. Bright colored computer paper covered with waxed paper works well and is fun to have around for other projects.

Children can make their designs and make prints by pressing a paper onto the design. The three dimensional designs will harden. Teach children not to touch their eyes with their soapy fingers.

Food colored shaving cream can make some beautiful finger paint. Use plastic gloves for easy clean up.

Another great learning project with shaving cream is color mixing in a plastic bag. Spray the shaving cream into a bag and have your children add a drop of any primary (red, blue, or yellow) food coloring. Once the bag is sealed, your children can squish and squeeze the bag until it turns colors.

Children may pick and add another drop of a different primary color and predict what will happen when it is mixed. It’s very important to mix the colors thoroughly to see what new color will be made. Children are excited to see how the primary colors swirl into green, purple, and orange.

For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com;wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Seasons live and archived; Pinterest and Facebook.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Grandparents Teach, Too is a non-profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. The writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers. Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan, the U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Michigan School of Education, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and the Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education.