Did you know that finger painting has been around for centuries? Some cave drawings have even been linked to finger painting. Finger painting as we know it came about in the 1930′s. Children often would use it as a form of self expression, we use it in art therapy programs and children often use it when the are bored at the dinner table. Adults miss is so much that there are multiple finger painting apps for electronic devices like the iPad.
Dr. Elsie Calitz lists 15 reasons to finger paint:
- Children informally learn about color mixing and explore how different colors combine.
- Sensory integration is promoted
- All senses are involved: sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste (best to use edible finger paint)!
- It strengthens finger and hand muscles, increasing fine motor development.
- Hand-eye coordination development is improved.
- If paper is placed on the floor gross motor development is supported improving balance and large muscle groups.
- It is easier for little fingers not ready to handle a brush.
- It promotes self expression as there is no right or wrong way.
- It is creative and imaginative.
- Finger painting is therapeutic- children express feeling visually.
- Finger painting focuses on progress not on an end result or final product.
- Finger painting can be a solo project or done in a group where children need to work together.
- Both the process and the finished project are stimulation topic points like colors, themes and creative process. This improves language development.
- Children learn that this is a place where they can manipulate and control their surroundings.
- It’s FUN because it is MESSY!
We like finger painting for all of the above reasons, mostly because it is FUN. Miss Aimee likes finger painting because it is an easy way that children can take part in their artistic vision. Charleston is surrounded by artists and children seem to absorb the community that they live in. Finger painting is a small way that they can express what they absorb both environmentally and culturally. Art is a part of childcare to nurture the child’s soul and mind.