It’s always smiles when you finger paint!

On the surface it looks like I’m finger painting.  To the students, I certainly am.  They are very happy about the idea of smearing paint around with their hands.  The procedure breaks down like this:

All kids are at their seats working on a design project.  They are tracing various shapes all over their paper.

By virtue of the fact that they are k-2, they are generally making a random design.

On the board I’ve posted a random(all over the place) and an orderly design(in nice, neat rows)design made from similar shapes.

They will continue working on the random and hopefully, in a day or so, orderly design, because they want to finger paint in a big way.  If they don’t do the assignment: no finger painting.   Great motivation, and, what I’m really trying to teach is the concept of orderly and random and that following directions and doing the assignment brings rewards.

So if you walk in,  you see finger painting, but I’m really teaching some concepts/ vocabulary words and  using  positive reinforcement for classroom behavior.

The video below is how I finger paint with the young ones.  I generally have them smear the paint on a piece of plastic(here it’s a piece of discarded suspended ceiling light fixture plastic) and then lay the paper on the smeared paint and then pull a print.  It’s a fairly neat way of finger painting.  I also tell them to use their hand like a claw, not laying their hand completely flat, because that way just the finger tips get paint on them and it’s easy to clean.  I use yellow paint for the same reason, it’s easier to clean.

In the above vid,  I’m working in another teacher’s room, hence the bucket with a rag in it to clean up. It’s difficult to see the finger painting because I used yellow paint, but since I was in somebody’s room, with no sink, I used yellow because it’s easy to clean and usually does not stain.

He looks a bit puzzled, but I’m sure he liked it.

Another happy customer!

This is in my room(cabinets, lots of materials, and a working sink-mucho thanks to all admin staff!) with some finger paintings hanging up to  dry.

After the students have done it with assistance, I pair them up and they do it by themselves.  Some figure it out better than others.   These two did ok.  You can never quite predict the results.  I certainly did not predict or plan for the soap dispenser to take a tumble and dump liquid soap allover the floor.  They both pitched right in, with no complaining, and cleaned it up!  They both commented, in a concerned fashion, by showing me the paper towels they used, that my floor was a bit dirty.

Another pair smearing the paint around….

Pulling the paper up…

He seems more excited about the orange finger tips than the actual work.

Another pair getting ready.

And the finished result.


All of the above is done in the art room, at Believe to Achieve Academy in Canton, Ohio.  The principal is Ms. L. Henry and  the art teacher is Mr. Tayse.


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