“When love is at the base of something, it is a masterpiece.” ~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
Ahhh, love. Tis that time of year when we are surrounded by pink hearts, red roses, crafty school valentines, love notes, and more chocolate kisses than even I can handle. We try to make the coolest, most creative valentines we can find on Pinterest. We make pancakes in the shape of hearts. Our cookies are pink. Even the pizzas and brownies aren’t safe! They’ll be heart-shaped too! Am I right?
Here at Small Potatoes, we’ve kept Valentine’s Day rather simple. There is no glitter, no hearts, no chocolate play dough, and pink spaghetti. We went back to the basics with good ol’ finger paint.
The smalls have an ongoing love affair with finger paint, and it’s one that will last far beyond the fourteenth of February. The only thing Valentines-ey about this activity is the colour of the paint. The rest is just pure love.
We like to use cardboard for finger painting when we are not painting directly on the table surface. The thickness of the cardboard allows for loads and loads of layers, smushing, smearing, and poking. No small has ever worn a hole through a piece of cardboard from finger painting. This is a bonus because creative art should not involve tears of frustration or sadness, only love, trial and error, and happy exploration.
The paint we normally use for finger painting is baby shampoo or dish soap with powdered tempera paint and a dash of water…
I give each child a dollop of each colour right on their canvas and then they are free to go. Most will start out with the “one finger dip” technique…
As they become more courageous in their sensory exploration, they start to smear and drip, and squish, and poke…It’s such a lovely process to watch. The colours swirl and mix to create new ones, the paint makes fun squishy sounds between their fingers, and the smell of the soapy paint is inviting and fresh. All the while, the smalls are learning colour theory, small-motor skills, eye-hand coordination, cause and effect, and focus and concentration. You get the most bang for your buck with finger painting…For the smalls, finger painting is all about the process. But for us mums and dads who like a finished product at the end of the day to save as a keepsake when our kids are all grown up and opinionated, finger painting offers up a little something for us too. A beautifully painted masterpiece to hang on our walls. Win.
And please don’t be discouraged by the “mess” of finger painting. First of all, it’s the prettiest mess you’re likely to see all day. Secondly, it all washes away in a nice warm bowl of water…which we keep right next to the table so there is no dripping hands finding their way all the way to the bathroom sink.
Now go hug someone and spread the love!
Happy Valentine’s Day, and thanks for stopping by!
~Arlee, Small Potatoes
I’m definitely going to get my little fella doing this. I have to admit i will never win any blue peter badges for my creative skills as i don’t have a creative bone in my body lol. Never thought you could make your own paint from shampoo, this new found information is great 😉 xx
Yes! Lots a great texture, and makes washing up so much easier!
I didn’t know you could make paint from baby shampoo. Great idea! I’m adding this to my list of activities for V Day. It’s going to be a pink explosion of mess!
I love this. I have to try it out!
Will you share your recipe for the paint with soap or shampoo? Thanks Arlee! Love your blog!
Thanks!! There is no recipe…I just squirt dish soap or shampoo into the paint pot…however much I want to make. Then I add powdered tempera paint…however dark and vibrant I want the colours, determines how much I add. Then a splash of water whole mixing to keep it from being to thick and pasty. That’s it. Super simple!
Ooooh! I LOVE this! Will have to do this with the green shades of paint for St. Patty’s 🙂 Thank you!!!
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Yes! I am definitely going to try this with the children during our art studio time.
This would have been perfect for valentines day.