There’s something quite intriguing about feeling paint on your fingers as you spread it onto your canvas.

Do it yourself and try not to smile. Feeling the texture, seeing what happens when colors are mixed and the paint is spread across the canvas is important learning… Fun as it may be!

You will need:



-smock or large t-shirt

-canvas or recycled cardboard


  1. Cover the table with newspaper.
  2. Put smocks on the children.
  3. Let the children experiment with the paint.

Random colors can be chosen by the child. The teacher can also provide a few colors in order to teach the result of mixed colors. Mixing the colors and seeing results of mixing (red + white = pink or red + yellow = orange) is important learning. Some children may need more time to adjust to the messiness of the paint, and want a break. That’s okay, too.

More Project Ideas:

Fall – Students trace and cut their hand prints onto cardboard. Provide red and yellow paint to make orange leaves. They’ll love to see a bulletin board of a fall tree with all of their fall leaves in the branches. Use several brown paper grocery bags turned inside out for the tree trunk and branches. You can crumple up the edges to make the branches and staple to the wall before attaching the leaves.

Winter – Cut the cardboard or thick paper into the shape of snowmen. Provide dark blue and white paint to mix onto the snowman bodies. After drying, children add black googly eyes, triangles of orange construction paper for the nose and black marker for the mouth.

Valentines Day – This is a good time to mix red and white to make pink on black construction paper hearts. After drying, the hearts can be glued onto folded construction paper to make a card.

Spring – Children cut the cardboard into flower shapes and use any colors they like to paint. Display the flowers on your classroom bulletin board.

Money Saving Tips: Inexpensive canvas can be purchased at your local dollar store or at a discounted art supply store. Children can also use recycled cardboard (such as pieces of cereal boxes) or paper bags as a canvas.

Gift Giving: Finger painting can be sent home as a gift for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

For the canvas, write the child’s name and date on the side.

For the recycled cardboard, attach ribbon and write the child’s name on the back.

About Carol Brooke

Carol Brooke is an editor for Teaching Resource Center, providing classrooms with Teacher Supplies and free Teachers’ Lesson Plans for over 25 years.

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Classroom Crafting with Carol

Thank you to my guest Carol for sharing these wonderful tips on finger painting. Finger painting is one of my favorite classroom activities!