Aug 22, 2014

Toddler Art Class: Sticky Finger Painting

Evaporated milk makes a great fingerpaint, sticky and delicious!

Art Project: Sticky Finger Painting
sweetened condensed milk
food coloring
heavy paper or lightweight cardboard sheets
spoons to stir
cotton swabs for the texture averse
Clear hair gel (optional, for milk-allergies)

Although this project has nothing to do with animals, I explained that Eric Carle's style incorporated a lot of texture that the kids might be able to mimic when trying out fingerpaints.
cover art Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? / Martin, Bill

Prep work: Pour about an inch deep puddle of sweetened condensed milk into each bowl, add a squirt of food coloring and stir.

 What Kids Do:  some kids preferred the fingertip-tiptoe method:
 Others used their whole hands:
 Both of them:
 Both tops and bottoms of their hands:

 Some experimented with color mixing (the edges of the page were inconsequential):

some with splatter techniques:
 Check out how sticky this paint is!  It makes stringy drips all the way from the paper to your hand!
 And oh, it feels good to squish between your fingers...
 Or cup in your hands...
 Or paint your feet with:
Or drip into your friend's hair:

 Unless... you really can't stand the feeling of stickiness on your hands (some kids REALLY hated it!) and then Miss Carissa will bring out cotton swabs for you to paint with.  Ahhhh.... much better.

 Plus, check out how you can create negative space (or "white lines!") using cotton swabs!
 I love all the different amazing textures these kids came up with:

 Even some multimedia experiments!
I had one young artist with a milk allergy, so I mixed some food coloring into clear hair gel for her to use..  Definitely a different result, but still pleasantly slippery to paint with!
 Yeah, who cares about the edges of the page?

Hindsight Tips:  
-- If, like me, you're doing this activity with several groups back-to-back, allow yourself plenty of time to clean up between groups.  Between sticky tables and mixing up fresh batches of paint, this one takes a bit of time to reset.
--For three classes of about 12 kids each, I used four cans of sweetened condensed milk.
--When this paint dries (and that can take a looooooong time, depending on how thickly they lay it on), it looks shiny!
--A bucket of water to rinse kids' hands is the easiest way to clean up, followed by a quick swipe with a wet-wipe and/or paper towel.

 Variations to try: 
You can also do this project with brushes instead of fingers

Adult Challenge:  Don't tell your child their artwork is "pretty."  Instead, talk about the process--how does the paint feel?  or make observations about the art -- That color is so blue!  You're making lots of circles!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVED this idea and just used it today for my 'messy art camp' and it was a big hit! One tidbit - the clear hair gel I used for a little one who had a milk allergy, dyed his hands! I guess whatever is in that hair gel made the food coloring more permanent! It might have been the brand (Suave) or it could be any hair gel, but just a word of warning. : ) I LOVE your blog and get lots of juicy ideas here!


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