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Fantastic Frugal Finger Paints

Frugal Parenting (featured column)
by Rachel Keller

Children today spend far too much time in front of televisions and computers. True, educational software and some television programs teach while entertaining, but do these mediums spark or stifle children's expression and creativity?

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Most children love being creative and having fun. And what better way than finger painting? Children will love making these paints as well as playing with them. You might be able to save some of your children's artwork for decoration by letting it dry.

So next time it's raining, and your children have "nothing to do", instead of turning on the television or playing another computer game, why not try some of these fun, inexpensive recipes.

You'll find nine recipes, including water colors, "scratch and sniff" paints, puff paint, instant finger paints, Jello finger paints, and salt and flour finger paints.

Water Colors

You do have to make this one ahead of time, but children will love watching you mix this up!

1 T. white vinegar
2 T. Baking soda
1 T. Cornstarch
1/4 tsp. glycerin
Liquid food coloring
Plastic bottle caps from 2-liter bottles

Mix vinegar and baking soda in small bowl. When mixture stops bubbling, add cornstarch and glycerin. Mix well. Pour mixture into bottle caps. Add several drops of food coloring to the mixture in the bottle caps. Let dry overnight.

Scratch and Sniff Painting

Watercolor paints
Craft glue
Fruit flavor gelatin

Draw a picture. (You can trace a picture from a coloring book.) Paint the picture with watercolors. After the picture is dry, spread craft glue a little at a time over the colored parts of the picture. Sprinkle fruit flavored gelatin over the wet glue. Let your picture dry. The craft glue dries clear and you have a sweet smelling picture.

Puff Paint

One part shaving cream
Equal parts of white school glue
Food coloring

Mix shaving cream and glue. Divide mixture into separate small bowls. Add food coloring to make different colors.

Instant Finger Paint

This one is so easy and so much fun!

Shaving cream
Tempera paint
Paper or table top

Spray shaving cream on your tabletop or on each child's paper. Add a couple of drops of tempera paint of your choice.

Jello Finger Paint

This sweet-smelling paint is wonderfully thick and glossy.

1 c. cornstarch
3/4 c. and another 1/4 c. cold water
2 c. hot water
1 envelope gelatin
1/2 c. liquid soap or dishwashing liquid (Use clear soap for purest color.)
2 packets (same flavor) unsweetened Kool-Aid mix

In a saucepan, blend 3/4 cup of cold water and cornstarch. Add hot water and heat until boiling stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Mix gelatin into remaining 1/4 cup of water and blend with liquid soap and cornstarch mixture. Add Kool-Aid for color and aroma. (You can divide the uncolored mix in half and color both sections separate colors.) Store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for 12 hours before using. Yields 3-4 cups.

Finger Paint

1 c. cornstarch
3/4 c. and another 1/4 c. of cold water
2 c. hot water
1 envelope gelatin
1/2 c. Ivory Flakes
Food coloring or dry tempera

Mix together cornstarch and 3/4 cups cold water. Soak one envelope unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup of cold water. Stir 2 cups hot water into the cornstarch. Cook and stir until mixture is clear and boiling. Remove from heat and blend in gelatin. Then add Ivory Flakes, stirring until the flakes are dissolved. Cool. Divide into small covered containers. Add food coloring or dry tempera.

Homemade Finger Paints

1/4 c. warm water
1 envelope gelatin
3 T. Sugar
2 c. cold water
Food coloring
Dishwashing liquid

Soak gelatin in 1/4 cup warm water and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch and sugar. Gradually add water and cook slowly over low heat, stirring until well blended. Remove from heat and add softened gelatin. Divide mixture into separate containers for each color. For each color, first add a drop or two of dishwashing detergent and then add food coloring a drop at a time until you have the shade you want. Store up to six weeks in the refrigerator.

Fantastic Finger Paints

1 c. flour
2 T. of salt
1 1/2 c. cold water,
1 1/4 c. hot water
Food coloring
Freezer paper (paint on shiny side )

Combine flour, salt, and cold water in a saucepan. beat with a wire whisk until smooth. Heat the mixture over medium heat. Slowly stir in hot water. Continue stirring until mixture boils and begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Beat with a whisk until smooth. Divide the mixture into several different containers. Add 4-5 drops of food coloring to each container and stir.

Salt and Flour Finger Paints

2 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
3 c. cold water
2 c. hot water
Food coloring

Add the salt to the flour in a saucepan. Pour in cold water gradually and beat the mixture with an egg beater until smooth. Add the hot water and boil the mixture until it becomes glossy. Beat it until it is smooth. Mix in food

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Copyright © 2005-2013 by Rachel Keller.  All rights reserved.

Want more recipes? Read "20 Recipes for Homemade Art Supplies"

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