Non-Toxic Edible Finger Paint

by Claire Minnaar


Aside from the unavoidable mess, one of the main reasons behind any mother’s aversion to letting her little ones play with finger paint is the “from-hand-to-mouth” tendency. And with good reason, especially when you have a peek at the horrifying list of ingredients on that store-bought jar of paint!

So imagine my delight when I came across this recipe for non-toxic home-made finger paint. While it might not taste absolutely divine, the fact is that it won’t cause your little one any harm when the finger goes from the jar to the mouth. Note: This recipe makes approximately 3 cups of paint.

Oh, and if you need an excuse to let your kids do finger painting – here are 5 good reasons to do it:

  1. Develops eye and hand co-ordination
  2. Stimulates creativity and exploration!
  3. Uses the senses of seeing, hearing, smelling and touching.
  4. Teaches colours and how to mix them.
  5. Messy = FUN!

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup corn starch
  • 3 cups cold water (or enough to reach the desired paint consistency)
  • 1 envelope flavourless gelatine
  • A variety of food colouring
  • Containers with lids in which the paint can be stored

Now to get started:

  1. In a saucepan, mix the corn starch with 2¾ cups of the cold water, adding the water bit by bit until a smooth paste is formed.
  2. In a separate bowl, soak the gelatine in the remaining ¼ cup of cold water.
  3. Place the saucepan with corn starch mixture on the stove and “cook” it over a medium heat. Be sure to stir all the while, until the mixture starts boiling and turns semi-transparent colour.
  4. Remove the mixture from the stove and gently stir in the pre-soaked gelatine.
  5. Allow the mixture to cool before dividing into your various paint containers.
  6. Add your desired food colouring to each container, mixing it in one drop at a time until you have a colour that suits your fancy.


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