Make Your Own Edible, Kid-Friendly Fingerpaints

Help your child channel her inner artist with this recipe for homemade fingerpaint

Finger painting action!

When my kids were really small I rarely undertook “big” craft activities like fingerpainting. It seemed like so much work, and I was anxious about the mess. I had so little energy to spare and I couldn’t face the idea of scrubbing the floors after giving my kids free license with the fingerpaint. I also worried about the kids sticking their paint-covered fingers in their mouths.

My kids are now past the paint-eating stage, so I may be late to the game with my own family, but I know many of you are in the crux of it. That’s why I am pleased to tell you that I finally figured out a faux-fingerpaint that won’t taste bad if it’s accidently ingested. And there’s a way you can pull this off without having to wash the floors afterwards, too.

What you’ll need:

• Several packages of a powdered gelatin, like Jell-O (red and blue worked best for us)
• Water
• Freezer paper
• Ramekins or small bowls


1. Measure about 20g of the gelatin powder into the ramekin and add 1/8 cup of near-boiling water. (You may want to tinker with the ratio here. It just can’t be too watery.) Stir with fork until the powder has dissolved. The mixture will cool quickly, but test it before you hand it over to Jackson Pollock Jr.

2. Do the finger painting on the shiny side of the freezer paper. The art will dry within a few hours.

If you’re as worried about your floors (and chairs, and family dog) as I was, think about doing this outdoors at the picnic table with a hose in close proximity. Just weigh down the corners of the paper with something so it doesn’t blow away.

Now, whether you put the unused “paint” back in the fridge for later snacking is up to you. I promise I won’t tell if you do.

Andrea Tomkins is a mother of two imps, and wife of one. She’s a freelance writer who is often found with camera in hand or scribbling madly in her notebook. She is passionate about arts and culture, travel and healthy living, and gets an extra big thrill out of helping parents and kids discover all the hidden treasures Ottawa has to offer. You can follow her adventures on her blog, a peek inside the fishbowl, where she’s been writing about family life since 1999. You can check out more of her great craft ideas here.


6 responses to “Make Your Own Edible, Kid-Friendly Fingerpaints”

  1. Christa says:

    Great idea! How badly does it stain their fingers?

  2. andrea tomkins says:

    There was no staining over here. Not even with the blue… :)

  3. What a great idea! I’ve been looking for ways to entertain my son when it’s too hot to play outside. (That happens here in Kansas more often than I like.) This is perfect, and I’m Pinning it for others to see, too. Thank you so much!

  4. Well, darn. Unfortunately Pinterest says there’s no image on this article so I can’t Pin it. Sorry!

  5. Alicia McAuley says:

    Hi Katie, Sorry to hear about the technical problems! We’ve pinned it here if you’d like to repin: Thanks so much for your comments! ~Alicia, content editor for

  6. Thank you, Alicia, I’ll do that right now and will follow you on Pinterest now that I know you’re there. :)