Finger painting is an easy and fun activity with a large impact on a child’s development, no matter the age. Even though this is a messy activity (which explains why several parents avoid it), when you find out how many important benefits finger painting can bring to your child, you won’t mind a bit of mess.
This activity requires very few supplies. You don’t need brushes, as children use their fingers, which makes this activity more interesting and enjoyable. All you need is some suitable paint, paint paper, and a bit of willingness.
1. Improves sensory learning
Finger painting stimulates all senses, in multiple ways, and encourages them to use sight, smell, hearing, and touch while they are playing and learning. Through touch and sight of colors, this game improves their memory, visualization, and helps them better understand the distinction between physical and abstract objects. By exploring paint, textures, and prints, children develop sensory integration that will help them later in life when they start learning more complex math and language concepts.
If you are wondering how to prevent your little one from eating colors, the only way to feel sure is to make them edible. This means more work for you, but your child will have an amazing experience which will improve one of their senses – taste! You can use yogurt, blueberries, carrots or buy natural food coloring.
When your children paint, they learn how to communicate their feelings visually. You can direct your child to choose the color that reflects their current emotion. For example, if the children are angry, they might choose red to express this feeling, or green if they are happy, etc. Once children get their emotions on paper, they will be more likely to talk about them and learn how to control their feelings.
Besides, finger painting can often be done in a group. This way, children are learning to share their own emotions, but also to understand and respect the feelings of others. This can prepare young ones to work in a team.
3. Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
Even though finger painting looks very easy, it requires some complex hand movements which strengthen finger and hand muscles, and develop pre-writing skills. This activity also improves hand-eye coordination and supports skills such as holding pencils correctly, coloring pictures, cutting and folding paper. In addition, these skills will also help children with daily activities such as buttoning clothes and shoe tying.
4. Encourages intellectual development
Finger painting exposes children to colors, self-identification,exploration, experimentation and mixing, which all have positive effects on their intellectual development and thinking skills. As they manipulate materials, move in space and think about colors, their minds are occupied with multiple things at all times. Finger painting develops both sides of the brain and teaches children how to use them simultaneously.
5. Boost imagination and creativity
One of the biggest benefits of finger painting is that children enjoy this activity. It involves dipping fingers in paint and then using fingers to create objects on a piece of paper. That sounds so messy! But messy means FUN. That is the reason why playing with colors, patterns, and the squishy texture of paint, sparks children’s freedom and creativity. The ability to focus on the process, and not on the end result, gives children the opportunity to enjoy this activity even if they don’t have a special painting talent.
The basis of finger painting is the VAK method, which gives every child the opportunity to receive knowledge in a way that suits them best. Furthermore, the memorization process is the most efficient because it involves both hemispheres of the brain. That is the reason why finger painting is an integral activity of our BrainOBrain and Numicon programs. Find out more about these programs here.