Save the paper for another day because today, we’re finger painting on foil! This art-meet-sensory-meets-fine-motor activity is a delight for the senses. Let’s turn simple supplies into an exciting learning activity.
Have you ever tried finger painting on foil?
If you’re new to this sensory art project, you are in for a unique art experience that your kids will get a kick out of.
We started doing this project years and years ago after having an extra roll of aluminum foil and trying to find new uses for it in the classroom.
First, we painted on it while it was flat and smooth, and it was a hit.
BUT THEN, we scrunched it up for textured finger painting, and that’s where we found the magic.
Related: Our giant 10-foot coloring banners are the ultimate art experience, and with big, bold lines, kids can fingerpaint in these, too.
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How to set up finger painting on foil
You can turn this into a two-day exploration (or skip to Day 2 if you’re looking for a one-and-done activity).
DAY 1: Invite your child to finger paint on smooth aluminum foil. Pull a piece of foil from the roll and feel the smooth, slick surface as the paint glides over it.
DAY 2: Invite your child to finger paint on textured aluminum foil.
Begin by giving your child a piece of aluminum foil and inviting them to scrunch it into a loose ball.
Next, invite them to open the ball back up.
It sounds and feels really cool as they unwrap the aluminum foil ball. Plus, this is an outstanding fine-motor workout where kids have to focus and use hand-eye coordination skills while unwrapping.
Once the foil is entirely open, squirt on some paint and finger paint on the bumpy, uneven surface.
What kind of paint will stick to aluminum foil?
We have tried this with a few different paints, and here are our notes:
- BioColor paint: Works perfectly and doesn’t flake or peel once dry.
- Tempera paint: These Crayola paints also worked perfectly and didn’t flake or peel. If you use a different tempera that you think might flake or peel, add some washable school glue into the paint while finger painting.
- Acrylic paint: This wouldn’t crack or peel, but it’s permanent and dries quickly, so we wouldn’t recommend using it over kids’ paint.
Looking for more sensory paint projects? Try some of these faves!
What’s the point of this activity?
Oh, let me count the ways why this project is dreamy.
First, it’s process art. Kids create for the sake of creating, and there’s no intended outcome. Each piece will look unique to each artist, and the joy comes from the making and creating.
Second, it’s a fantastic sensory experience. You feel the cool, wet paint on the smooth, slick foil and the bumpy, textured surface. This is loaded with tactile stimulation.
Last, it’s a fun way to build finger strength, which is important for the pre-writing muscle building we do in preschool.
There, of course, are more reasons why you give this a go, but these are my top three!
I can’t wait to hear what your kids think of this, too.