No-brush painting

The whole world is at your little one’s fingertips!

Finger Painting

‘Finger paints are direct descendants of mud pies. All I have done is add the rainbow.’ – Ruth Faison Shaw, pioneer of the finger painting technique

Finger painting can be far more liberating and imaginative than painting with a brush. Dress your child in some old clothes, dip their hands in paint, and watch the magic and chaos unfold. Here’s how to set up the space for them to enjoy…


  1. Cover a sizeable area with newspaper, and make sure your child is wearing old clothes.
  2. Place a large strip of paper over the top of the newspaper.
  3. Squirt generous amounts of paint onto the plastic plates.
  4. Fill a pot with water and place it nearby.
  5. Encourage your child to dip their fingers and thumbs into the paints, and then back on to the paper again. What shapes can they create without using a brush?
  6. If they like, they can draw around their finger and thumbprints with pens or pencils, creating little characters and scenes. This is especially good for older children who may find the basic technique tedious. A thumbprint can morph into a butterfly’s cocoon, or a beehive. An index finger can be a chicken’s head, or a camel’s hump! Encourage them to think outside the box.