Finger painting is great, there is no doubt. Every child I have ever met loves it. But that is no reason to not get a little creative every now and again. One of my kids favorite ways to use finger paint, beside the intended use, is to sponge paint.

The dollar store usually carries small sized sponges in various shapes. Of course, if you can’t find shapes, buy the big rectangles and use your kitchen shears to cut the sponge into whatever shapes you choose. We usually go for the basic shapes, stars, hearts, and letters. Then the rest is easy, dip the sponges into some paint, and then put it to paper. My kids love the variety of getting clean shapes, or splatting if they squish their sponges.

This is also a great visual way to teach younger kids about secondary colors. You can dip your paint into two colors and see the result. The look on my sons face the first time he made the color green was priceless. My daughter who is a bit older enjoys sort of painting her sponges. For example she will take a flower shaped one, and paint the middle a different color, or each pedal a different color. Then she will stamp it on her paper.

Along the same line as sponge painting, is cookie cutter painting. Just dip your cutters into paint and stamp on your papers.  Perfect for making defined shapes. My son always waits for those to dry and then comes back and paints or colors the inside of the shapes. Much more fun than just using fingers or paintbrushes.


-Stephanie Wright

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