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No-mess finger paint

mess-free finger paint

I got the idea for this activity from the May issue of Family Fun. We put some washable paint into ziploc bags, added a little water (mainly because we were running really low on paint in the requested colors), sealed them, and started to play. Emma practiced writing letters, while Johnny smushed the paint around randomly until he discovered he could use his dinosaurs to make footprints and lines:

dino tracks 

We’ve had these out for about a week (it has not yet occurred to my children that they could open the bag and make a mess), and Emma in particular has found lots of ways to experiment with them. She has tried looking at pictures through a thin layer of paint, and stepping on the bag to get an impression of her foot.

MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

19 thoughts on “No-mess finger paint”

  1. I think my girls would love these, but I do wonder how quickly they’ll think of opening the bags. I think I might try some today.
    .-= Jaimie´s last blog ..Indoor Gym =-.

  2. I always wanted to try this – it looks less messy than I thought it might be. Thanks for inspiration!
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Science of the Dead Sea =-.

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    Hm – wonder why you were running low on paint in the requested colours? LOL! This looks like a fantastic activity – one even I might be brave enough to try. :)
    .-= Elisa | blissfulE´s last blog ..giant potato feeds family of five =-.

    1. @Quadmama – Good point. I think the ones we used were freezer bags, they were pretty thick.

  4. I think we did this once upon a time for a color mixing lesson. I think I’ll try it again (maybe super glue the bag shut, lol) and see if Matthew takes to it like your kids have. Thanks for a great idea!

  5. Another less mess idea is to open up your dishwasher door and squirt a little washable paint and let the kids play. When done shut the door and put on wash cycle. Saw this on the Rachel Ray show and couldn’t believe it worked. Just have to keep an eye on the kids for running off.

  6. Jackie @ 3 Little Ones

    Wow! I LOVE this idea!!!! :) Right now I feel so bad that I really do not let the kids finger paint b/c it gets so messy w/ my 3 kids – thanks for such an awesome idea!
    .-= Jackie @ 3 Little Ones´s last blog ..Green Greeting Cards =-.

  7. Michelle | Print Posters

    I think kids love being dirty in general because it’s lots of fun not caring about paint splattering all over them. I think it’s cute until you have to give them a bath and they start being sad.

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