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Grandparents Teach, too

Fall a beautiful time for finger painting

Sabin, Davis, Hetrick, Anderegg, Macalady, Walker, Darling, and Katers

Fingers make the best painting tools. Bright colored commercial finger paint works just fine and washes out easily from clothes. It is even more fun to finger paint with products you have around the house.

You will need vanilla pudding,shaving cream, food coloring, paper, gallon size plastic bags, waxed paper, and cookie sheet.

Homemade pudding

For homemade pudding gather 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 2 cups milk, 2 egg yolks slightly beaten, 2 tablespoons butter, and 2 teaspoons vanilla. In medium saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils gently. Boil and stir 1 minute.Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into egg yolks in a bowl. Then stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Pour pudding into small bowls. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour until chilled. Add food coloring for painting with vinyl gloves to avoid stained fingers.

Making pudding under supervision 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.

Making letters

Besides making 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

Another great finger painting medium is white 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 but vinyl gloves are needed to avoid stained fingers.

Fall in a bag

Another great learning project with shaving cream is color mixing in a sealable plastic bag. Spray the shaving cream into a bag. Children add a drop of primary food colors. They can squish and squeeze the bag to make secondary fall colors For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com and wnmufm.org/ Learning through the Seasons live and podcasts; Pinterest and Facebook since 2009.

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.