January’s Pinterest challenge result gave me “edible fingerpaint”. Yay! This should be fun … OR so I thought. The silly-mummy-moments I found happened in these parts of the process (in chronological order)
Yep – the whole process is relatively challenging if you get step 1 wrong! However, this is what I find with many “great ideas” I get from pinterest and why I find my “Pinterest Fail” rate is so crazily high. Part of my objective with my pinterest challenge this year is to try and work out how to stop all my pinterest fails in their tracks. (Or at least give you a laugh as I document them on this blog).
My idea was to reuse some egg cartons to hold & mix the edible paint in. They did get soggy after a while (but my girls moved onto their next activity before that became a drama). You can use anything else that will still go into the recycling too as your paint holders like jar lids etc. It’s great to introduce sustainability practices into your activities as early as you can.
I had some asparagus that was a bit woody and not really edible so I decided to use that as our paintbrushes as well as use our fingers. This gives my girls some more exposures to a less preferred vegetable away from mealtimes. (Read more about the importance of exposures to healthy foods away from mealtimes here.)
The base of the paint was some vanilla yoghurt. Any yoghurt will be ok provided it doesn’t have lumps in it. I used 1 tsp for each colour. ie. It was only 6 tsp for our whole activity.
I toyed around with making a variety of vegie purees as the colouring agents but decided that I had other things more important to do with my time and besides even though the paint is “edible” it’s not like its an actual meal. If they don’t eat it and just play with it – that’s totally the point!! So, I used a few drops of food colouring to make our 6 different colours. This gave me a great chance to talk about colour mixing with my eldest daughter. It was like “magic” when we mixed the colours into the yoghurt to see what colour it would become. If you really want to avoid food colouring put plain yoghurt onto colourful papers like catalogues.
I used some A4 paper but there is no reason you couldn’t paint onto left over butchers paper from your Deli purchases. Or if you have a messy mat – paint directly onto that and hose it off at the end!
If you don’t want yoghurt all over your dining table (like I did) – maybe do this activity outside, on your bathroom floor or in another area that is easy to clean. Where you set-up makes a big difference on how comfortable you are with the mess that will follow.
We made butterfly prints by folding paper over on itself. This is a great vocabulary builder too while we were talking about colour mixing and butterflies.
My 11 month old did eat some of the paint but liked making dots with her fingers and smearing them over the paper. So, it is actually a great activity for my baby and toddler. She did eat some of the asparagus as well…. and that’s ok!
Be aware that food dies will make little hands (and mouths) dirty. Please don’t constantly clean your child up during this sensory play session – as that is a negative association with an activity that is so positive for their sensory systems. ie. Don’t punish them for learning! You can always put them in the bath straight after play time is over.
As always I was wishing to have 2 sets of eyes so that I could get the most out of the activity with both girls. However, it is also great that while I focused on one girl, the other was independently playing and learning. It’s important to realise this, take a step back and observe them.
Again – don’t fuss about the mess too much. Enjoy the moment 🙂
Clean up the yoghurt from “important” surfaces before to long with warm soapy water before too long. I wouldn’t want this activity to leave a lasting impression on your nice things. Otherwise, the priority is to see the artwork being created and then hop into the bath after it is all done.
I hereby give you permission to throw the paintings out after you’ve shown them off for a few hours! Yoghurt will spoil and it’s not wise to keep it hanging around on your kitchen fridge. Take a photo of the creations and then put them into your compost bin (depending on the paper you used).