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Did you know that conventional, store-bought finger paints can contain toxic chemicals like toluene, ethylene glycol, petroleum-based waxes, polymers, and artificial colors that can be easily absorbed through your child’s skin?
Some paints also contain wheat, soy or oats, which can be an unexpected disaster for the allergic child, so it’s important to read the labels to see if they contain gluten or other food allergens. (Crayola paints are gluten free.)
Like an increasing number of children, my daughter is allergic or sensitive to these ingredients, so we simply can’t use the off-the-shelf brands of a lot of common craft items. So this recipe for non-toxic, non-allergenic finger paints solves the problem, and is just great for hours of toddler fun!
Related: Homemade Gluten Free Play Dough
The paint colors are made with natural food coloring, which are made from fruits and vegetables, though you could easily make your own colors from turmeric, beet juice and more. You do need to use more natural coloring than you would with regular, chemical food dyes, and the colors can be tricky to mix, but I find their earthy pastel shades rustic and charming.
On to the fun of making the finger paint…
- Mix 1/2 cup flour with a bit of water to get out lumps.
- Add the rest of the water.
- Cook/stir over medium heat just until thick & shiny. It only takes a few minutes. The mixture should stick to the side of the pan a bit.
- Stir in additional flour, if needed, until you reach the desired paint consistency. It should be thick enough to stick to your hands, but not gloppy.
- Scoop out the mixture equally into several reusable paint cups or disposable paper cups.
- Put several drops of your choice of food coloring into each cup of paint and mix well. Add more food coloring as needed to create the color you are looking for.
- PAINT AND HAVE FUN!
- You will likely need to use more natural coloring than you would with chemical food dyes to get dark, rich colors.