Mini Monets and Mommies: Kids Can Finger Paint with Clay: Shapes, Colors and More!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Kids Can Finger Paint with Clay: Shapes, Colors and More!

Finger painting with clay? That’s right! Why? Raise your hand if your child absolutely adored the ooey gooeyness of painting. Now raise your hand if you’re not exactly thrilled about the mess.

Kids' art

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for more information).

Okay, so we all have heard that messy play is good for kids. Not just good, but totally beneficial when it comes to encouraging creativity, inspiring imagination and even improving critical thinking skills. That said, sometimes we have to be practical. Let’s say you’re at grandma’s house for a week in the summer. The kiddos are begging to do a finger painting art activity. But, grandma’s white carpet or couldn’t-be-cleaner kitchen just can’t handle the splatters that are sure to ensue. What now? I have an answer that let’s your child ‘finger paint’ without actually using anything that’s a liquid.

I used to teach a preschool art class in a museum – entirely in the art galleries. If you think grandma freaks about getting teeny tiny droplets of tempera on her tile floor, imagine what the museum higher-ups thought about the prospect of having 3- to 5-year-olds making art in the same space as original Monet’s, Van Gogh’s and Pollock’s. Obviously, no paint was allowed. But, the kids always wanted to paint (and the parents always asked about it).

In order to get a paint-y feel, without actually making a mega mess, I swapped in soft modeling clay. The clay sticks to the paper underneath, and almost acts like actual finger paint (if it’s soft enough your child can mix colors, create textures and explore with lines/shapes). It’s also a tremendous fine motor workout!
Clay art

In the past we’ve done general exploration types of clay paints as well as famous artist-inspired ones. This time we’re adding some math (and a recycle/reuse theme). Instead of buying paper or board, have your child search the house for a cardboard source to reuse. Cereal and cracker boxes are great options. The cardboard is thick enough so that the clay doesn’t soak through, but thin enough that the kids can still cut it.

How does the math come into play? Your child is going to make her own geometric shapes to cover in clay paint! Use these instead of flash cards or ready-made products to learn shape names.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        Cardboard

·        Scissors

·        Markers

·        Soft modeling clay (in at least two different colors)

Here’s What to Do:

1. Draw shapes onto the cardboard. Your child can make them as small or large as she wants. The bigger the shape is, the more clay (and more work) it will take.
Recycled crafts

2. Pull the clay apart into pieces.
Clay Colors

3. Smooth the clay onto the cardboard, finger paint style. Your child can use her hands to mix the colors together, blending red and yellow into orange, red and blue into purple or yellow and blue into green.
Fingerpaint Clay

Clay project

Kids art

As your child works, she can layer the clay to make textures, uses her finger tips (or simple tools such as craft sticks) to make patterns/marks or add more colors.



  1. This is nice. Thanks for sharing with us. This is good to know
    Cleaning Products in Chennai

  2. This is very creative for the kids.Clay painting is more interesting than other arts. I learned clay painting from my school Nalanda International which is one of the best schools in vadodara

  3. Dogs that are heavy chewers should not be given stuffed or rope dog toys. Loose bits of rope, fabric as well as plush toy plastic eyes and filling can be too easily swallowed if these dog toys are ripped. toy pug

  4. A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. modeling agencies toronto

  5. Every once in a while I find something worth reading when I’m surfing the internet. Bravo… thanks for creating real content here… precio arena magica

  6. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what they’re talking about on the internet? You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you’re not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  7. Thanks For Sharing his nice post.

  8. Excellent post. I was reviewing this blog continuously, and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information especially this page. Thank you and good luck. paint for exterior

  9. Luxury Design Painting is an award winning painting services company in Sydney. We deal in work related to interior painting, exterior painting, wallpaper installation and industrial painting.

  10. Thanks for the helpful article you brought. Are you interested in furniture? I will bring you good interior articles. Do not ignore it because it is very useful there.
    commercial painting company

  11. Some find it calming, others reinvigorating but the exposure to nature through a beautiful Myrtle Beach Painters is something we can all enjoy.

  12. Thanks for the helpful article you brought. Are you interested in furniture? I will bring you good interior articles. Do not ignore it because it is very useful there.

  13. You can also check their website or check the pages to see what previous customers have said about their experience with a particular painter.Paint the Town Green

  14. The bed is capable of handling four kids and when they wanted to use the upper deck then the ladder can be used. If they wanted to go down they can as well use the ladder and also they can use the slide to go down while enjoying it. bunk bed with slide