DIY: Finger Paints and Play Dough

I love making things myself that I would normally purchase. These are simple, fun to get the kids involved with, and your kids can literally eat what they produce–though I don’t recommend it. Use baby food jars or other recycled jars to hold your paints and play dough. Make sure to get the kids involved mixing and adding colors.


Younger kids: Just get in there and get messy. Paint outside so you can just rinse the kids off with the hose. Try making patterns with uncooked pasta, nature items such as sticks, rocks, etc. Paint rocks to put in the garden–these are super cute! Encourage your young kids to play with mixing colors. Have them guess what color they will create and then give it a try.

Older kids: Try making block prints [older kids can carve a piece of wood or get a block from Michael’s for carving] or veggie prints [experiment cutting veggies such as celery and use those veggies as blocks for printing]. Work with older kids on making their own color wheel by making a circle [or any other shape], breaking it into fractions. Color in 3 fractions with primary colors [blue, yellow, red], then work to blend these colors in the fractions between them. Create a color wheel.


Play dough is so super easy to make! The kids love it and you probably have all the ingredients you need right now in your house.


1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring by drops


1. Combine all ingredients in a pan and stir.  Cook over very low heat, stirring until a ball forms.

2. Add food coloring and mix thoroughly until desired color.

3. Cool on foil. Store in covered container.

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