I think that finger painting should be a required part of every child’s school year – from preschool through high school. I once did finger painting with middle schoolers that was such an insane success that their teacher from their next period class let them skip the next period and instead brought me another armful of paint bottles. It was epic and wild and colorful and insane and magical and one of my teaching highlights – and surely their’s, too. (I think our world would be a more peaceful place if grown-ups, too, had regular times to unwind and to finger paint.)
One of my favorite ways to add extra dimension to this simple painting project is to invite the littles to “draw” on their paintings with their fingers. Sometimes it’s completely, 100% open-ended, and other times I invite them to draw something that we are studying in class (talk about connecting curricular objectives and process-art!). For example, if you’re working with your class on how to write their names, perhaps have them finger paint and practice “writing” their name in the paint. Or, if you’re studying ocean animals, invite them to draw ocean animals with their fingers into the paint.
A fun feature of this type of writing is that you can rub your flattened hand on your paper to “erase” your art and create over and over again!