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Finger Painting Fun with Sensory Sand Finger Paint

by Jean Van't Hul
July 25, 2012
Sensory Sand Finger Paint for Toddlers

Finger painting is always fun!* Kids have permission to cover their hands with paint and slip, slide their fingers through gooey color. Finger paint is the epitome of sensory art and, for young children especially, sensory art is important for development and even helps them learn.

We recently tried a newly-developed kind of finger paint from Discount School Supply called Sensory Sand Finger Paint. It added a whole new layer of sensory fun to the activity!

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Discount School Supply sent us a set of the paints to try out and review along with some finger paint paper and a big ole plastic finger paint tray.

Note :: They no longer carry the sensory sand finger paint or the tray (bummer!), but we often use and love their regular finger paint. It’s the best finger paint out there for kids. And if you like the idea of a tray, you can use a baking sheet or an art mat. Or buy one of these finger paint paper and tray sets.

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The finger paints feel as slippery and finger paint-y as any finger paints, but they are also slightly gritty. It sounds like a funny combination, but the kids liked it, and it worked really well. The sand element is very fine—not coarse at all—but you can definitely feel it.

Here’s what we did with our finger paints 

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Squish, squeeze it…

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Swirl and rub it around…

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Draw and write in it with a finger…

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Mix colors…

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Make monoprints…

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Drum, drum, drum with it…

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Play back and forth with it…

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And draw in it with all ten fingers at once…

Using a Finger Painting Tray

We started out using the finger paint paper in the tray, but about half way through the kids switched to painting directly on the tray.

It was the perfect finger painting situation! The paper was okay, but it kind of got in the way of a full-on sensory finger painting extravaganza. It bunched up a little and you had to be a bit more careful.

Painting directly on the tray was freeing.

I generally like to keep things basic and don’t usually go in for “extras,” but boy, I have to say I like that finger paint tray.

We’ve painted directly on the tabletop plenty of times, but it felt different with this tray. It’s extra smooth for one thing. It’s plenty big enough, but the space is defined. And I really liked knowing that I could take it outside and spray it down with a hose when the kids were finished painting. (If it were winter or I lived in an apartment, I’d probably wash it in the shower or maybe the sink.)

Again, the tray we used is no longer available, but you can use a baking dish or art mat or buy one of these finger paint paper and tray combos.

The Finger Paint Art

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It is nice to have a painting on paper to display, though. Here’s one of the dried paintings. You can make prints from the paint in the tray (and we did lots of that!) but they have a very different look than the the finger painting that was done directly on paper.

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Here’s a close up of one of the dried paintings so you can see (barely) the grain of the sand from the sensory sand paints.

Again, Discount School Supply no longer sells the Sensory Sand Finger Paint but their regular Colorations-brand Finger Paints are excellent. They also have glitter finger paints which look fun and sparkly.

*Note :: There are some children who don’t like the sensory stimulation of finger painting (or other messy art projects). It is more commonly a phase that a child goes through but it can also be a more ongoing preference. (And, occasionally, it can be the result of a sensory processing disorder.) If the child doesn’t want to touch the finger paint, you can let him paint with a tool (a brush or chopstick, for example) or put some paint in a plastic bag and let him squish it around with his hands. Next time, he may be ready use his hands.

 

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