Fun Finger Painting My children personally love this idea. I put different colored paint in styrofoam bowls. Then I add a lot of glue to each one of them. Finally, I add shaving cream into each container of paint. I let the children get on the floor with a big piece of butcher paper and just let them finger paint. Once the paint is dry the children like to go and see how it feels. It is a really neat idea especially if you're wanting to do something colorful and also teach children about textures.


Let children stick bandaids all over a piece of paper. Older children can make people, animals, and more out of the bandaids by drawing on heads, arms, legs, etc.

* Children love this!

Contact Paper

Let children stick things to the sticky side of contact paper. Then cover it with colored cellophane. Makes a see-through picture to hang in front of a window or lamp.

Corn Syrup Finger Painting

Light corn syrup makes a great finger paint that leaves a shiny finish when dry. Let children fingerpaint with plain corn syrup on colored construction paper. Or add drops of food coloring to syrup for fingerpainting on white paper.

* This is great fun for the kids but the corn syrup never truly really dries! Always remains slightly sticky.

Cornmeal Play

Give children spoons, small cars, and trucks, small containers, etc. and let them play in a large pan or container full of cornmeal.

* This is one of our favorite activities in my daycare. Children of all ages love this.

Edible Finger Paints

For finger paints that are both fun and tasty, let children use instant pudding, whipped cream, or yogurt.

Fingerprint Art

Use a washable ink pad and sheets of paper. Have children make fingerprints on the paper and then turn them into animals or whatever using crayons or markers.

Foot Painting

Squishing in paint seems adventuresome and even, almost, naughty. Every child should get to paint with his/her feet, at least once a year. Stretch a long sheet of butcher paper across your kitchen floor and tape it down. Get 2 pans and mix tempera paints with a little water in one and soap and warm water in the other. Place the soapy water, a stack of towels, and a low chair at the far end of the paper. Have the children take off their shoes and socks and roll up their pant legs. Usually, I go first. Then I escort the first child through the process. Paint can be slippery, so I hold the painter's hand. For young children under 2, a single handprint or one fingerprint will make them part of the group painting. The first print of each person is labeled, and the project promptly hung. This can also be done on individual papers.

* Very good

Gluing Face Parts

Cut eyes, noses, and mouths from magazine pictures of faces and have children select these and paste them onto paper plates. Add details such as hair and freckles with crayons.

Ink Blot Drawings

Paper (can be pre-cut in shapes such as butterfly, heart, etc.)
Ink, thin paint, or food coloring
Dropper (helpful)

Have the child put a few drops of paint on the paper. Fold in half, then press with hand. Open and see the design. Experiment with different colors dropped on at the same time, being careful not to put too much paint on at once. When designs are dried, they can be mounted on construction paper and presented as gifts to relatives.

* This craft is very good

Magic Money

Place pennies, a small bowl, a shaker of salt, a small squeeze bottle filled with white vinegar, a box of cotton swabs, paper towels, and a piggy bank on a tray. Have your child put a penny in the bowl, sprinkle salt over it, and cover the penny with a few drops of the white vinegar. Watch his eyes sparkle as the penny starts to shine. He can help the process along by scrubbing the penny with a cotton swab. Once the penny is "clean," your child can use the paper towels to wipe it dry before he puts it in the piggy bank. Adults can assist the child by emptying their pockets at the end of the day and replenishing the "dirty" pile of pennies on the tray. When your child is done polishing pennies, store the tray in a place where he can play with it whenever he wants.

* Ages 3 to 6

"Me" Drawing

Trace child's outline on butcher paper and then have the child color it.

* Best for ages 3 and up.

Object Collages

Give each child a styrofoam tray with a clump of playdough in it. Then let children use the playdough as a base for sticking in beans, straws, toothpicks, and other small items so that they stand upright.

Painting on Freezer Wrap

Freezer wrap (the kind with the coated side) is great for fingerpainting. It comes in large rolls, won't tear when wet, and is relatively inexpensive.

Painting on Rocks

Use rocks gathered from a walk. Let the children paint the special rocks that they found any way they wish. They can glue on yarn and buttons if they wish.

Painting With Chocolate Pudding

Let each child spread out a large spoonful of pudding mixed with some water on his or her paper. Then encourage the children to experiment with finger and hand painting. When finished, hang their paintings to dry.

Paper Fastener Activity

Give children a quantity of oaktag scraps in which you have made holes with a paper punch. Children love hooking pieces together and moving the parts. These can be colored.

* Best for ages 3 and up.

Paper Plate Masks

Children make faces on paper plates using crayons, fabric, etc. and then glue a popsicle stick on the bottom so they can hold mask to face.


Blow up a balloon and cover with strips of newspaper passed through a paste of water and flour. Don't put on too many layers, or it will be difficult for the children to break. When dry, either paint or cover with crepe paper. Cut a hole for candy. Hang it from the ceiling. This could be fun for a whole group of children. Blindfold them one at a time, and let them use sticks.

* When covering balloon, leave a 2-inch space around the knot.

Roll-on Deoderant Bottles, Painting with

Remove rollers from bottles and clean both rollers and bottles thoroughly. Fill the bottles with tempera paint and replace rollers. Let children use them like magic markers.

Sensory Pan

In a regular cake pan, put any type of hands-on medium such as: dry beans, sand, pudding, water, rice. Let the children play.

~Kid's Play

Shaving Cream

Using a large aerosol can of shaving cream, have the children fingerpaint on fingerpainting paper or on a cookie sheet. They can sprinkle paint (powdered tempera in salt shakers) on.

Shoelace Necklaces

Let children string cereal (Froot Loops, Cheerios), macaroni, snipped colored straws, etc. on long shoelaces or pipe cleaners.

Sock Baby

Fill sock halfway with stuffing. Little girl lacey anklets work nice. Tie the open end of sock securely, using a long piece of heavy thread. Fold cuff down to form bonnet. Tie a ribbon around the neck of doll. Use fabric paint and add eyes, nose, and mouth.

* These are so easy, absolutely adorable, and the kids love them!


Let children decorate with stickers.

Story of "Me"

Ask children to draw, one at a time:

As each child finishes a picture, ask him to tell you about it. At the bottom of the picture, write down exactly what he has said about it. Staple pages together, include a blank front page which says, "Story of Me."

Tray Play

Toys they can make things out of are a big hit with the 3-and-up set. Try this if your child is crazy about constructing: Fill two cups, one with several colored straws and one with several colored pipe cleaners, which have been cut in a variety of lengths. By combining the straws and pipe cleaners, kids can make all kinds of structures, creatures, and other creations. For instance, they can twist the pipe cleaners or push them through the straws to make flowers, arms, legs, antennae, and more.

A String of Things

Using the liquid laundry detergent cup caps you drill or punch with a nail in the top center and string in nylon cord, I put a bead inside, then a knot,the cap,a bead,then knot this way they stay where you want them and dont all bunch together. The Little kids love these.

~Submitted by Joyce

Spider Web

Drip a large dot of watercolor onto your paper. Use a straw to blow into the dot of watercolor. The watercolor dot will turn into a fun spider web. Drip different colors onto the sheet and create a multicolored spider web.


Crayon Resist

Draw a fun design on a white sheet of paper with a white Crayola crayon. Paint watercolor over your crayon design. Like magic, your design will appear through the paint.



Moisten a coffee filter. Crumple the coffee filter into a ball. Flatten out the filter and lay it on a flat surface. Paint the coffee filter with watercolors. Watch as the color spreads, creating a colorful tie-dye effect.


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