14 May 2009

Let toddlers finger paint inside a wading pool

Finger painting in a wading pool

Before you fill the kiddie pool with water, here's another idea, from Isabel:

My kid likes to paint himself and any nearby surface during finger painting (he's two). Indoor finger painting in the wading pool makes clean-up easy. I put the pool in a different room during my kid's post-painting bath. Then I just put the pool in the tub, rinse it out and leave it in there to dry upside down.

I'm just impressed that you let your two year-old finger paint at ALL. Good for you -- I regret thinking it was "too inconvenient" when my kids were little. Missed out on some priceless moments for all of us.

You could also use a kid's wading pool as the basis for a "sensory lab" filled with dried beans, rice, fluffy stuffed animals...that would be fun for a kid way past the toddler years! My nine year old would love that!

PS. I'll bet you've got a neighbor who's dying to get rid of their old kiddie pool. Ask around or Freecycle before you buy a new one.

Related: Turn a baby bathtub into a ball pit

Your comments

This sounds like a great idea. Just one question...does your child try to eat the finger paint? I've let my son (20 months) paint a little, but he is forever trying to eat the paint, crayons, etc. Repeated cries of "Out of the mouth" just produce a fun game(for him) of how close he can get the paint or crayon to his mouth.

My son's preschool teacher filled a wading pool with different types of paper- magazines, wallpaper, index cards etc. It was one of the "centers" in class. They climbed in, got given scissors and could chop and chop and chop. Great scissors practice facility!

I used to strip my son down to a diaper and let him paint before his baths. No dirty clothes.

you can use many other things as paint besides commercial finger paint. Some ideas below:

Pudding Paint
• Instant Vanilla Pudding
• Food Coloring
Mix pudding according to directions. Add food coloring for desired color. Finger paint on paper plates.

Kool-Aid Finger Paint
• 2 cups flour
• 2 packs unsweetened Kool-Aid
• 1/2 cup salt
• 3 cups boiling water
• 3T. oil
Mix wet ingredients into dry ones.

Jello Finger Paint
• Any kind of flavored jello
• Boiling water
Mix jello into boiling water until it is a goo consistency for fingerpaint. Use normal fingerpainting material or glossy paper.

Or how about using Pureed baby food? The possibilities are endless.

Tracy - thanks for the tip!

Beautiful pic, he looks so smart and peaceful inside the pool. Nice, undisturbed place to play for kiddos...

Used to let my first finger-paint with chocolate pudding in the bathtub. I should do that again, now that #2 is mobile! Thanks for the reminder!

Elizabeth- Have you looked into the Crayola fingerpaints? My son is also in the "everything in the mouth" stage. The new washable paints are completely non-toxic. We tried them, and since I wasn't worried about it, and I didn't react when he put his hand to his mouth, it stopped after a few seconds. At one point, he was using his binki as a stamper (that I did end up taking to wash before he put it back in his mouth!)

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