Create toxin-free finger paints at home.

How to Make Safe Finger Paints for Babies

by Alicia Bodine

Babies are notorious for putting their hands and other objects in their mouths. Many sets of finger paints contain chemicals that are hazardous to your baby's health, if consumed orally. Still, North Carolina State University's Cooperative Extension recommends that parents provide opportunities for babies to learn in meaningful ways. So if you want your baby to paint a piece of paper instead of his bedroom wall, you're going to need a set of homemade finger paints.

Measure and pour 1 cup corn starch, 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 cups of water in a mixing bowl. Stir until all of the ingredients are combined.

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove it from the heat immediately after reaching a boil.

Pour the hot water in with the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Stir to combine. The consistency should be similar to a thin yogurt.

Separate the mixture by pouring it equally into four small disposable bowls.

Add 10 drops of gel food coloring to each bowl. Use a different color in each bowl so that your baby has four separate colors to choose from. Primary colors are a good choice. Stir until combined.

Wait until the bowls of homemade finger paints are completely cool before you allow your baby to start creating her first work of art.

Items you will need

  • Mixing bowl
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 5 cups water
  • Medium saucepan
  • Food coloring in gel form
  • 4 small disposable bowls


  • Add oatmeal to the finger paints for texture.
  • If you don't have any disposable bowls, use glass bowls. Plastic bowls may become stained by the homemade finger paints.

About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.

Photo Credits

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