By Andrea Tomkins
When my kids were really small I rarely undertook “big” craft activities like fingerpainting. It seemed like so much work, and I was anxious about the mess. I had so little energy to spare and I couldn’t face the idea of scrubbing the floors after giving my kids free license with the fingerpaint. I also worried about the kids sticking their paint-covered fingers in their mouths.
My kids are now past the paint-eating stage, so I may be late to the game with my own family, but I know many of you are in the crux of it. That’s why I am pleased to tell you that I finally figured out a faux-fingerpaint that won’t taste bad if it’s accidently ingested. And there’s a way you can pull this off without having to wash the floors afterwards, too.
What you’ll need:
• Several packages of a powdered gelatin, like Jell-O (red and blue worked best for us)
• Freezer paper
• Ramekins or small bowls
1. Measure about 20g of the gelatin powder into the ramekin and add 1/8 cup of near-boiling water. (You may want to tinker with the ratio here. It just can’t be too watery.) Stir with fork until the powder has dissolved. The mixture will cool quickly, but test it before you hand it over to Jackson Pollock Jr.
2. Do the finger painting on the shiny side of the freezer paper. The art will dry within a few hours.
If you’re as worried about your floors (and chairs, and family dog) as I was, think about doing this outdoors at the picnic table with a hose in close proximity. Just weigh down the corners of the paper with something so it doesn’t blow away.
Now, whether you put the unused “paint” back in the fridge for later snacking is up to you. I promise I won’t tell if you do.
Andrea Tomkins is a mother of two imps, and wife of one. She’s a freelance writer who is often found with camera in hand or scribbling madly in her notebook. She is passionate about arts and culture, travel and healthy living, and gets an extra big thrill out of helping parents and kids discover all the hidden treasures Ottawa has to offer. You can follow her adventures on her blog, a peek inside the fishbowl, where she’s been writing about family life since 1999. You can check out more of her great craft ideas here.