Cooler weather brings changing leaves, cozy clothes, and warm colors. When we started to think about the fall and winter season, the teachers instantly thought of how the leaves change color. We wanted the infants to get excited about this change of seasons and explore warm colors, so one day we presented the children with red and yellow paint! As the children studied and played with the paint, soon a new color was created: orange. Since the children were painting with their fingers and hands, naturally the red and yellow paint mixed and the new color addition was an absolute treat!
Finger painting is an ideal activity for infants because it allows them to explore texture, make marks, and develop physical and social skills. According to the Childminding Association, for young children it is important to have time to explore and investigate materials without the pressure of producing an end product. Playing with finger paint on a large piece of paper, enjoying the feel of it and creating interesting designs is very therapeutic. Finger painting also raises self-esteem by mastering a new skill and creating a personal record. Sharing paints, working collaboratively and showing appreciation of other people’s work can make this into a good social learning experience.
After the children created the color orange, we gave them artificial leaves to use in their paintings to add another dimension and texture to the project. When they were finished, the infants had created beautiful mixed media fall art pieces.
We love finger painting at Little Wonders Learning Center for their sensory qualities, ability to help develop fine motor skills, and social opportunity! The bright and bold colors excite the children’s eyes, the slimy and smooth paints between their fingers satisfies their sense of touch, and the squishy sounds after a blob of paint is plopped in an area is music to their ears. In addition to finger-paintings sensory benefits, it helps to develop the infant’s fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and the relationship between cause-and-effect. In the Reggio Emilia approach, we believe that children are capable human beings who should be respected and listened to. Since infants don’t have developed verbal communication skills, one of the ways they can communicate with us is through the instinctive act of finger painting! Moreover, finger painting assists children in their fine motor skills development by utilizing complex movements of their hands and fingers that builds hand-eye coordination, muscle control, and dexterity.