Non-messy finger painting solution

I have no idea what I was thinking when I purchased four colors of finger paint.

You can see by virtue of where I was storing it, on the top shelf in my unfinished laundry room, that I was pretty keen on my kids using it. Not.

How to store finger paint (and other messy art supplies for kids)

Then I had the idea of using it not as paint, but more as a drawing tool, and suddenly it became not messy at all. No paintbrushes to wash. No sponging of, well, everything.  I’d even do it again.

While my kids were out with my husband, I put out two plastic placemats, each with a baggy of two glops of primary colors. I provided Q-tips to use as a stylus, and taped the bags in place. It’s sort of like one of those Zen boards you see in Brookstone.

No-Mess Finger painting for toddlers and preschoolers

Because my placemats are colorful, I had to put a piece of white paper behind the bags so that the paint would be visible.

No-Mess Finger painting for toddlers and preschoolers: primary-color-painting

No-Mess Finger painting for toddlers and preschoolers

Drawing on it is pretty satisfying, and the kids liked watching their lines appear and then disappear as the paint dispersed.