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Cornstarch Finger Paint

I never knew cornstarch had so many uses! Here is a fun and is way to make finger paint...

Items Needed:
  • Small saucepan
  • Measuring spoons
  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Small containers or bowls
  • Paper
  • At least 1 pair of willing hands to spread the goo around!

Mix 1 1/2 tablespons cornstarch for each cup of water desired into a saucepan (see What Not To Do below on why you should use the saucepan). I used 2 cups water to make 5 small cups of finger paint. Mix cornstarch with water to a smooth consistency. Cook until clear adn the thickness of pudding. I cooked it on medium-high and it took about 7-10 minutes.

Before cooking began

While it is cooking. It will start to get clearer, but you want to wait until there is no water boiling on top.

After - You can kind of see that it is clearer in this picture. It is hard to determine if it is the thickness of pudding while it is over the heat. It helps to take a spoonful of it out and then wait a few seconds to see what it looks like. If it looks like pudding or close to it, where it is difficult for it to drip off the spoon, then you got it!

Then let it cool and place into individual bowls for each color.

Add your color. One drop was plenty for each bowl. P.S. It did not color their hands when they were finished.

We made purple, blue, pink, green and yellow (the yellow is a bit brighter because it had 3 or 4 drops added because they squeezed the bottle too hard!)

Have fun! Trace numbers or letters, make pizza or some other picture (my son's idea. He wanted me to put each color down separately, as if he was making a pizza) and I am sure you can think of many other ideas. It is great way for them to get the sensory experience from pushing and squeezing. They can taste this and it will not hurt them.


This is a tip for when you are adding the food coloring and brave enough to let your kids help. Most kids do not know how hard to squeeze unless they are shown how. Have them squeeze your hand like this...

... and then you will be able to tell them to squeeze softer or harder. A really easy and effective way for them to be successful and you not to stress out! I forgot to practice with my daughter for the first color and she probably squeezed 10 drops worth in there!

What Not To Do:

Learn from my mistake...Do not waste time on making them in individual cups and do it in the microwave.

It takes way too long to heat up every cup because it keeps boiling over like oatmeal does and makes a huge yucky mess! If you have to use your microwave do it in a huge bowl with lots of room for it to expand and keep a good eye on it.


  1. Oh, that's it... so you skipped doing fingerpaints with ME so you could do it by YOURSELF.... thanks. Thanks a lot.

  2. Very cool! Thanks for the recipe and most especially the Tip and What not to do! I probably would have done both those things!



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