Rainy days, long afternoons… sometimes we mamas need a trusty list of fun kids’ activities! A homemade finger paint recipe deserves to make the list. This version can be as simple as two ingredients.
Even better, it’s totally edible and non-toxic if they just happen to eat some!
Why Homemade Finger Paint?
I usually opt for homemade when I feel the need to be crafty (or I want to avoid a chemical-filled version). This is one reason I also make DIY beeswax candles instead of buying artificial fragrance filled ones.
Store-bought finger paint ingredients are proprietary, meaning they don’t have to disclose everything that’s in it. Yes, they’re labeled non-toxic, but that’s not quite the same as natural and edible. This homemade finger paint recipe is made with real food ingredients so if little ones decide to taste a finger full, no harm done!
How to Make Easy DIY Finger Paint
A lot of DIY finger paint recipes call for cooking flour or cornstarch with water, and often call for cooking. Flour can cause issues for those with gluten allergies and corn starch is usually GMO.
Instead, this recipe uses two simple ingredients: yogurt and edible food coloring. It’s always a bonus when there’s one less thing I have to cook!
There are several ways to color your finger paint naturally, based on what you have.
Natural Finger Paint Recipe
- ½ cup Greek or strained yogurt for each color desired
- natural food coloring OR homemade food colors (see below)
- If using the premade liquid food coloring, add the coloring to the yogurt until you have the desired consistency. Thick Greek yogurt works best, but since we’re not adding a lot of liquid, it’s fine to use regular or unstrained yogurt for this option.
- If using a dried powder, mix 1 tablespoon of powder with 1-2 tablespoons boiling water in a small bowl and stir to combine. Stir the water/powder mixture into ½ cup of yogurt. (For spirulina you’ll only need to use 1-2 teaspoons of powder.)
- If using berries, beets, or fresh spinach, use the directions below.
Green Finger Paint (From Spinach)
- Combine ½ cup tightly packed spinach and ¼ cup water in a blender. You can cut this recipe in half if your blender is smaller, but mine wouldn’t blend with any less than this. Blend until smooth.
- Use about 3 tablespoons of the spinach water to color ½ cup of yogurt.
Purple or Pink Finger Paint (From Berries)
- Cook ½ cup of berries over medium low heat, stirring constantly and mashing. I used frozen berries. You may need to add a few tablespoons water to prevent them from burning, but you don’t want excess liquid. Cook just until mushy and the color is released, about 3 minutes.
- Strain the berries through a fine mesh sieve.
- Add the resulting liquid to ½ cup yogurt.
Pink Finger Paint (From Beets)
- Combine ½ cup roasted beet with ¼ cup of water in the blender. Blend until smooth, then strain.
- You can also use the liquid from canned beets.
- Add 3 tablespoons of the beet juice to ½ cup of yogurt.
- If dairy-free, use strained coconut milk yogurt or a gelatin-based recipe.
- I have not given an option for yellow finger paint, simply because it's usually made from turmeric which stains. I have used store-bought natural food dye (linked in recipe) and find the yellow can slightly stain some white dishes and clothing, but washes off of hands. Use of a smock recommended!
How Long Does Homemade Finger Paint Last?
It depends on the ingredients used, but this finger paint recipe can last 1-4 weeks in the fridge. If you use fresh yogurt and the premade food coloring it should last several weeks. The homemade food coloring and yogurt will last closer to several days to one week.
I would get a little out at a time for kids to use and store the rest in the fridge as needed for later. Hands and fingers dipped in the yogurt mixture will introduce bacteria that cause it to spoil faster.
Which edible food colors are you going to try?