Finger Painting on Trays

This variation on finger painting eliminates the problems of soggy, torn paper and drying space. Emphasis here is on process.



Children will be able to tell what two colors combined will produce e.g., blue + yellow= green. Children ages 4-5 years will be able to name or match the 3 primary colors: red, yellow, and blue Lang. IB
Children ages 2 ½-3 years will be able to name at least one color correctlyLang. IB
and they will enjoy the finger painting FM III
All children participating will be able to use the materials and paints in a variety of ways. SE III


Trays (cafeteria trays are perfect ); red, yellow, and blue finger paints of thick, pudding-like consistency (tempura mixed with laundry starch); sprayer filled with water.


1. Have the children stand around a table. Place a tray in front of each and ask each child to choose a color. Place paint on each tray and have the children spread it around. When paint begins to dry, spry water on the surface instead of adding new paint.

2. Have children experiment with forming different patterns with their hands, observing how different parts of their hands make different effects. Have them paint with the backs and fronts of their hands, make a fist and paint with knuckles, paint with sides of their hands in quick outward strokes to make the effect of leaves.

3. After the children have painted for a while with one color, let them choose another to be added to their original. Discuss which combinations produce which colors.