Let’s make non-toxic homemade finger paint for toddlers! This homemade finger paint recipe for toddlers is non-toxic, making it safe for even the littlest fingers. You can make your DIY finger paint any color you like and it will make for hours of messy art fun at home or in the classroom.

Homemade finger paint recipe - big white paper with fingerpainting and colors of finger paint in purple, pink, green and blue - Kids Activities Blog
Make our non-toxic homemade finger paint recipe for toddlers.

What paint is safe for finger painting for kids?

One of my favorite things about making your own finger paint is that you know what ingredients you are putting in it. Our finger paint recipe is non toxic and is a great way to get kids helping in the kitchen. If a young child has a tendency to put their fingers in their mouth you know that they are not ingesting chemicals or anything that is not food grade.

Making homemade paint is a great chance to talk about colors, including how to make new colors by mixing primary colors together.

Homemade Finger Paint Recipe

We are going to combine basic pantry ingredients (that you probably already have) together to make homemade finger paint.

Ingredients for homemade finger paint

You need corn starch, salt, sugar, water, and food dye to make homemade finger paint for toddlers.
Gather corn starch, salt, sugar, water, and food dye to making homemade finger paint.
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • food dye in assorted colors
  • containers (with lids)
  • popsicle sticks (spoons, or skewers) for stirring

Instructions for making finger paint Recipe

Step 1

Step 1 for making homemade finger paint for toddlers is to cook the corn starch, water, salt, and sugar on the stove.
Cook your homemade finger paint ingredients on the stove for 10-15 minutes.

In a medium pan, mix all the ingredients together. Cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. It’s very important that you keep stirring the finger paint mixture until the moment that it turns from thin – to thick.

Once the finger paint has thickened take the pan off the stove immediately, and let the mixture cool.

Step 2

Step 2 for making homemade finger paint for toddlers is to put the cooled finger paint into jars and add food dye.
Put homemade finger paint into jars and add food dye to make fun colors.

Spoon the mixture into your jars (or containers), and then add food dye. Remember, less is more when it comes to adding color. You can always add more if you want more vibrant colors, but you can’t take it away if your colors are much darker than you wanted.

Step 3

Use popsicle sticks to mix the food dye into the homemade paint recipe.
Make vibrant finger paint colors by adding a little more food dye.

Stir your colors together. You can experiment by adding different colors together to make fun new colors. This is a great way to teach toddlers about primary and secondary colors.

Mixing tip: To make colors such as red and black you will need to add a lot of food dye. Red will start off as pink, and black will start off as grey.

Our finished homemade finger paint FOR TODDLERS

a little boy painting
Kids will have so much fun finger painting with our homemade recipe.

How do you store homemade finger paint?

non toxic homemade finger paint stored in baby food jars
Check out our vibrant homemade finger paint colors!

I used empty vegetable baby food jars to put the finger paint in. I recommend them because they come with lids making them great for storage.

Finger paint will keep in an airtight container for about 3 days. After that, the mixture will start to harden. Then it’s time to whip up another batch!

Yield: 6

Homemade Finger Paint for Toddlers

homemade finger paint in baby food containers

Make non-toxic homemade finger paint for toddlers.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $1


  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • food dye - assorted colors


  • Saucepan
  • Containers (with lids preferable)
  • Popsicle sticks (spoons or skewers for stirring)


  1. Combine the corn starch, salt, water, and sugar in the saucepan and cook over low heat. Stir mixture for 10-15 minutes until thick.
  2. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  3. Spoon the mixture into individual containers and add food dye (just a few drops at a time). Stir the colors and continue adding food dye until you achieve the colors you want.

More homemade paint recipes

looking for something a little less messy? here are some easy cut and paste activities for toddlers! 

Have you made homemade finger paint for toddlers? Did they love creating messy art?

Here’s some advice on how to keep your toddler quiet in public places like church!

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