Homemade Edible Finger Paint

BY ON Oct 7, 2014
Homemade Edible Paint - Safe for Babies and Toddlers

Homemade Edible Finger Paint is perfect for babies aged 6-18 months , toddlers and children who are more likely to place paint covered fingers into their mouths. It is also a great paint for their ‘first’ painting experiences when you are unsure if bub is going to try and consume the paint.


This Homemade Edible Paint Recipe is super easy to make and uses regular items found in the cupboard. It is safe for children to put into their mouths but bland and not tasty to discourage eating the paint.  It is not a sweet or sticky paint and has a wonderful smooth texture….perfect for finger painting sensory play!


What you will need?

Ingredients to make homemade paint


4 Tablespoons of corn flour (corn starch)

Cold water

1 Cup of boiling water

Liquid food colouring



I have played around with this method a few times and find this process the most successful for me in get a great consistency for the homemade paint.

  1. In a medium saucepan, mix the cornflour with enough cold water to make a paste. (Not too runny).
  2. Pour in 1 cup of boiling water and stir thoroughly so there are no lumps.
  3. Turn on medium heat on the stove and mix. The mixture will start to change and you will notice some clear streaks forming in the mixture. Once you see this, turn off the heat and continue stirring. It will start to thicken and turn into a wonderful, custard-like consistency.
  4. Spoon equal amounts into empty jars, cups or containers and add food colouring. Mixing until completely combined. For each colour, we added 3 drops of yellow, green, red and blue. To make orange, we added 1 drop of red and 2 yellow and to make purple, we added 1 drop of blue and 2 red.
  5. Store in the fridge covered with cling wrap for up to 2 weeks. This paint recipe does not have any preservative in it, so it is important to check that the paint has not expired before giving it to children.


Tip: If the mixture has harden from being in the fridge, adding a little bit of boiling hot water or leave the paint our for a few hours will return to its smooth consistency.


Let’s Play

Homemade Finger Paint

One of the things I really love about this Homemade Finger Paint is that it washes out of clothes easily and is so easy to clean up.


Let’s Learn

Easy to make homemade finger paint for babies

This activity is great for babies, toddlers and children of all ages and abilities as it is open-ended and unstructured. It provides an opportunity to explore the paint safely and freely.  Children will enjoy using their fingers to make marks with the paint in their own way.


Learning Opportunities

Homemade Edible Finger Paint

Homemade Edible Finger Paint encourages learning and development in a number of ways:

  • Creativity and expression
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Hand-Eye Coordination and Control
  • Cause and Effect
  • Concentration
  • Language development
  • Exploring the senses and discovering new textures


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47 Responses to “Homemade Edible Finger Paint”

  1. Looks so simple and what a great activity for bubbas. Thank you also for sharing that it’s super easy to wash out. So helpful. Thanks Janice! xo P

  2. Patricia Streatfeild says:

    I am a day care mum the instructions were easy but maybe my cornflour is heavier needed more water.
    but made 9 different colors and the kids loved it. I was still warm so the little ones loved to run their fingers through it. Will make it again. Great activity to promote imagination experiences, tactile sensation and so many more learning areas.

  3. Kelly says:

    The colours look great, and good to know it washes out easily :-)

  4. We love this too! Especially good with a baby who wants to have a go.

  5. Love it! Definitely making this soon with my kiddos.

  6. This sounds like a must have recipe at home! Thank you for sharing! Pinned!

  7. Kate Lloyd says:

    This looks like sooooo much fun and it’s easy to make too! This looks like an activity we might get stuck into tomorrow.

  8. Penny at Mother Natured says:

    That looks like SO MUCH FUN! They will be so pleased they can lick their fingers

  9. I just love using cornflour and it’s such a lovely sensory experience when still warm. I make some at the beginning of every week. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  10. Lilis Indonesian says:

    Tq sis, nice sharing..i will do for my kids :)

  11. […] used this recipe for edible finger paint. How do you keep your kiddos entertained on rainy days?  Please […]

  12. Faith says:

    Help! I must hv done something wrong. My paint hardens when cooled and it’s more like a jelly than a smooth paint. What did i do wrong? Too little water? Insufficient cooking?

    • janice Janice Davis says:

      Hi Faith,

      I am not sure what has happened here but when we made our paint, the mixture only required a little bit of cooking. The timing of it can be a bit tricky. Sorry, I am not much help…good luck!

    • Allison B says:

      I did the same thing! It was because I didn’t add enough cold water at the beginning. That made it even thicker which made it dry like jelly. It says not to make it too runny but I made it too thick trying to avoid that

  13. Kristina says:

    What is the shelf life? I work in a daycare (2-3 years) and this would be great if I can make it at home the night before and then bring it to work for my class.

    • janice Janice Davis says:

      Hi Kristina, I have not needed to store the homemade finger paint, so I am unsure what to advise you. I have only ever made a enough for that day’s activity. I am sure you could store it in the fridge and add a little warm water to soften the paint when you would like to use it again.

  14. Kate says:

    Hi, I was just wondering where do you buy those food colouring? Thanks

  15. raisa says:

    Just made mine at the moment its like pva glue not paint have I done it wrong or just add more water??

  16. […]  Since C has a tendency to eat paint I tried out another homemade paint recipe, this time this one from Learning 4 Kids.  Look at those colors!  And the consistency was pretty cool.  J, of […]

  17. Nicole Delp says:

    I used your homemade paint recipe on our Thankful Tree since my 1 year old LOVES to eat paint and it worked like a charm! I linked back to you on my blog post. Here’s the website if you want to check it out: http://thenotsoboredhousewife.com/?p=1381 Thanks for sharing :)

  18. Abbi Jordan says:

    I love this! definitely going to be useful for my child development activities and i hope my child will enjoy it :)

  19. Abbi Jordan says:

    I love this! definitely going to be useful for my child development activities and i hope my child will enjoy it :)

  20. […] The younger ones can do this in a highchair, just put some old towels or a sheet underneath and fill the tray with paper and paint pots. Otherwise outside or on a tile floor with a plastic tablecloth works well. Look online for some safe, non-toxic paint recipes. […]

  21. Art time says:

    […] doing some research I decided on the Learning 4 Kids recipe for paint. It was super quick and easy to make.  4 tablespoons of cornflour and I got four […]

  22. […] Make Homemade Finger Paint: This easy home-made finger paint recipe is a winner, and really safe for young kids.  Warning: it’s not as washable as Crayola, so […]

  23. […] This activity is inspired by this Learning 4 Kids blog post. […]

  24. shannon says:

    Does it stain hands

  25. Mary Burry-Ndwiga says:

    Will this paint dry if the kids are painting pictures which you may want to keep.

  26. Melissa says:

    How much paint does this recipe yield?

  27. Maureen says:

    When my kids were small I made edible paint with vanilla instant pudding and colored it with vegetable based dye.
    They loved it.

  28. Sara says:

    Love this idea. My recipe didnt come out so good, it was more jelly and chuncky but she still had fun. We painted pumpkins today. Not sure if the jelly well stick and stay on. It was still fun. My babies first paint experience.

  29. Retno Cheah says:

    Just made one myself. It turned out beautiful. I used small bags of corn flour and quite a lot of water. It was quite runny and cooked in a small fire stirred all the time until all mixed. Will see tomorrow when I played my toddler group . Will post again. Thank you for the recipe!

  30. […] toddlers, you can make your own non-toxic finger paints with just corn flour, water and food coloring – if you don’t already have baby food […]

  31. Autumn Brown says:

    Awesome idea!! I’m wondering how it dry out on paper cards. Have you tried using this paint on cards yet?

  32. […] Recipe: Edible Paint by Learning4Kids […]

  33. […] recipes. They have! There are two main ways the internet offers for edible finger paint: one uses cornstarch, water, and food coloring and the other flour, water, sugar, flour, and food coloring. Both require that you boil the mixture […]

  34. […] finger painting is a way for your child to use most of their senses at one time, to clarify seeing, smelling, hearing, touch and if you have edible paint they could even taste. Learning 4 kids has a great Edible paint recipe! […]

  35. Chloe says:

    This idea looks great. I’m just wondering does the food colouring stain the babies hands?

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