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Edible finger paint - experience plan

Finger painting supports children’s fine motor skills and sensory development.

This experience supports children’s developing fine motor skills and sensory development.

This learning experience plan relates to:

  • emergent literacy
  • early communicators, early language users (6-36 months)
  • learning focus: fine motor
  • teaching practices: fine arts, language stimulation.

Collect information

  • What information has been gathered as evidence to inform this experience?

Outcome 3: Wellbeing

Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing.

  • Children use their sensory capabilities and dispositions with increasing integration, skill and purpose to explore and respond to their world.

Outcome 5: Communication

Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media.

  • Children use creative arts, such as drawing, painting, sculpture, drama, dance, music, movement and story-telling, to express ideas and make meaning.

Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.

  • Children engage in enjoyable reciprocal interactions using verbal and non-verbal language.

Victorian curriculum levels F-2: language

  • Understand the use of vocabulary in familiar contexts related to everyday experiences, personal interests and topics taught at school.

Learning intentions

For children to develop:

  • fine motor strength and dexterity through exploring textures of finger paint
  • vocabulary related to sensory experience and art - for example, names of colours, mixing, slimy, cold, slippery.

Assessment of learning

Learning is demonstrated when children:

  • experiment with finger paint, using fingers and hands to manipulate
  • engage in joint attention with educator or imitate language.


  • edible finger paint (corn starch, cold water, boiling water, food colouring – recipe at end of experience plan)
  • paper or table surface
  • art smocks if necessary.

Group size

Individual child or small group (two-three children).


Differentiation should be based on prior assessment of children’s communication skills. Examples of differentiation:

  • Provide varying vocabulary – describe what the child is doing or support the child to imitate the words used.
  • Further develop children’s fine motor skills by including tools for making marks and drawing in the paint.

Experience process

This learning experience may be set up for independent exploration or facilitated by an educator.

  1. Draw children’s attention to the materials they are using, the texture of the paint and movements of their fingers. Use these opportunities to model language, describing textures and movements. For example:
    • "the paint is slimy, does it feel slippery?”
    • "the colours are mixing together"
    • "you are making lines and swirls in the paint."
  2. Encourage children to use their hands and fingers to manipulate the paint.

Going further

If using paper, children’s artworks can be displayed or taken home with a recipe for parents to try making safe finger paint at home.  When using table surfaces, photographs could be taken of children’s paintings.

Reflect and review

Reflective questions for educators may include:

  • What learning has occurred? How do you know?
  • What have you realised about the child’s interests, knowledge, and capabilities?
  • In discussion with colleagues, what would you plan next to consolidate or extend children’s learning?

Additional resources for this learning experience

This experience can be developed into painting using different equipment (for example, brushes, sticks, leaves, feathers) or on other surfaces (for example, windows, paper).

Edible finger paint recipe


  • 4 tablespoons of cornflour
  • Cold water
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • Food colouring.


  1. Add cornflour to a saucepan, and gradually mix in cold water to make a paste.
  2. Pour one cup of boiling water into the saucepan and stir until there are no lumps.
  3. Place saucepan on the stove on a medium heat and continue mixing.
  4. Once the mixture begins to change, turn off the heat and continue stirring until it has thickened to the desired consistency.
  5. Mixture can be separated into smaller portions and different coloured food dyes can be added.