Finger painting is a fun, creative activity that children love, as Brock and his children Natalie and Tyra are well aware. Finger painting is a favourite activity for the girls at their Early Learning centre, Goodstart Brinsmead, as it allows them to explore colour and texture, get messy and make colourful and interesting pictures. Finger painting also has several important benefits in childcare and early learning development.
An important development skill, children use their hand-eye coordination to scoop up the paint and place it in position on the paper and move their finger to create shapes. Good hand-eye coordination helps children with writing, typing, driving, ball skills, music and balance and gives them confidence to try new skills throughout life.
Fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are used for anything that requires manipulation of the fingers for small precision work like writing and drawing. Using unguided and free flowing movements during finger painting allows children to build up the neurological pathways that allow controlled movements as they get older.
Young children use all their senses to explore and discover the world around them. Finger painting uses texture, movement, and sight together as children use their fingers to collect paint and create shapes and patterns on paper. Using their senses to gather and understand information helps children with their cognitive development.
As children paint, the childcare educator talks to the children introducing new vocabulary and concepts. This can include descriptive words such as cold, slimy, wet to action words such as swoop, stripes, slip, and splash. Colours and shapes can also be introduced when talking about the picture each child produces.
Children enjoy seeing objects and patterns in their creations, which helps them develop their imagination as well as helping with number and geometry, and other more complex concepts as they grow.
With minimal help, finger painting allows children to work independently to create something of their own, giving them a sense of achievement. Being an independent learner is of great benefit to children for their future at school and beyond.
7. Creative Freedom
Finger painting allows unparalleled freedom of expression. The immediate connectivity of paint to finger to paper lets children create directly without any intermediary device limiting their inspiration. The freedom of expression also extends to being allowed to get messy and tactile with the paint, as children often miss out the paper and start painting on themselves!
When Brock asked his girls what they liked most about finger painting at Goodstart Brinsmead, they both answered ‘Fun!’ simultaneously. Finger painting brings a great deal of enjoyment in a childcare centre day as well as bringing educational benefits. The art of finger painting is also emotionally soothing, as well as helping children develop their sensory learning, cognitive tools, coordination and fine motor skills. Children also learn to name colours and shapes and develop their language skills with the guidance of skilled child care educators.