The weather is warming up here in Virginia and I wanted an activity that would hold my daughter’s attention for more than 10 minutes. So I decided to whip up some homemade edible finger paint! It is seriously easy, and quick to make. In the amount of time it took Anna to eat lunch it was ready to use! Child painting with homemade finger paint

For us, this afternoon activity ended up being AWESOME. Not only did we both have a great time, but we worked on colors, shapes, and letters. Anytime I can sneak learning into playing I’m calling it a #parentingwin. I honestly didn’t even care that she thought this was super fun body paint. It’s technically edible, and it washed right off in the bath that night. 

Back story

This wasn’t my first time making finger paint, but this time was much more successful. The first time I made it I used cornstarch instead of flour. While cornstarch did work, I didn’t really like the gel-like consistency or the fact that all of our hands (or bodies depending on how into it we got) were stained from the food dye. Obviously, finger painting with a toddler is going to be messy, this is why we put on play clothes. I feel like anytime you use food coloring there’s achild with homemade finger paint risk of staining your clothes. We also waited for a warm day so we could do this outside. If you have figured out how to do this inside without your little Picasso’s making a mess, PLEASE, tell me your secrets! 

Couple tips and tricks 

While this could be used on paper, I found that it works really well on cardboard. Plus, reusing materials you already have around your house is good for the environment and cheap! Win-win! We have a few massive sheets of cardboard that I saved after we bought a big whiteboard for our office. It ended up being the perfect canvas. But really any box broken open would work.

Also, this paint will dry out if you don’t store it in an airtight container when you are finished. I used 6 old Tupperware containers and put a 1/2 cup of paint mixture in each one. 

Homemade finger paint for toddlers. edible ingredients from your kitchen

Edible Finger Paint

Quick easy, finger paint made with edible ingredients found in your kitchen!
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins


  • 2 C Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 C All-purpose Flour
  • Food Coloring


  • In a saucepan heat water and salt. Use a whisk to dissolve the salt. 
  • Once the water is warm (not boiling), and the salt is dissolved slowly whisk in flour.
  • Continue to whisk on medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken (one and a half to two minutes). 
  • Remove from heat and separate into containers. ( I use 6 containers, with about 1/2 C in each one)
  • Stir in food coloring of choice. (The mixture will be semi-liquidy)
  • Let sit for a couple of minutes to cool.
  • Cover when not being used.

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