Emotional & Social Benefits of Finger Painting

Finger painting is an art that most of us have experienced in our childhood. While there’s no doubt about the fun element of this activity, few people are aware of the therapeutic benefits of this art form. In this article, we will try and understand the benefits of finger painting, both for kids and adults.

How does Finger Painting Work?

For those unaware, finger painting is a simple activity that involves dipping of fingers in paint and then using fingers to create objects & shapes on a piece of paper. All you need is a table at elbow height, a few sheets of plain paper, and a few bottles of poster or water colour.

Let’s take an example of making a rainbow using finger painting. To start off, one needs to place small portions of all the colours of the rainbow on a sheet of paper. Next, they should start blending and mixing all the different colours with hand. Even without any special painting talent, you’ll get a nice colourful rainbow with just simple movement of hands.


Finger Painting for Kids

The Approach

When engaging kids in this activity, one should try and use non-toxic paints only (if not available in the market readily, non-toxic paint can be made in the home easily). Preferably, the paint should also be edible. Also kids should be provided with a canvas in an area that can be cleaned easily; unlike adults, kids may not restrict their painting on the paper provided alone.


The Benefits:

Easy for little fingers: Kids, particularly toddlers, find it hard to hold a brush or a crayon. However, finger painting is a much easier exercise for them as they don’t have to worry about the weight of a painting tool.

Improves sensory experience: Finger painting involves all major senses – visual, auditory, kinesthetic – thereby improving the sensory abilities of kids.

Development of fine motor skills: Finger painting is an excellent physical exercise as it involves the muscles of the finger and the hand as well as muscles of the shoulder, neck and the back. This makes it a good training exercise for kids before they start writing.

Recognising colours: Finger painting involves exploring a range of colours, thereby giving children ample training on colour recognition. The activity also trains kids on mixing colours and trying out new combinations for creating new colours.

Improves hand-eye co-ordination: The activity is an excellent way of improving hand eye co-ordination in kids. While the activity may sound very easy, it involves some complex hand movements.

Language and speech development: Once a finger painting is created, children can be made to talk about their piece of art. For example, they can talk about the different colours used or the different objects they’ve tried to create. Additionally, finger painting provides kids with an avenue to express their feelings in a visual way and not in words, which further helps in language development.


Benefits of Finger Painting for Adults

The Approach

It is a common misconception that finger painting is for children alone; rather it’s an activity that can be enjoyed by adults in equal measure. Adults can use latex gloves while finger painting to avoid stains of paint on their hands. They can use either oil colour or poster colour for this activity.


The Benefits

Expression of Feelings

Finger painting provides unparalleled freedom of self-expression. There’s no limit to expression of feelings in this activity. All one needs to do is go all out and put all their feelings on a piece of paper by dipping their fingers in paint. While painting, one may subconsciously choose colours that reflect your emotion. For example, you may select the colour red to express your anger or green to express hope. At times you may be confused, and the painting will help you depict your confused state of mind. Once you get your emotions on paper, you are likely to feel relieved and rejuvenated.

Healing Experience

In modern times, most people find it hard to cope up with stress. Finger-painting can be an excellent stress-reliever. The sheer experience of using your fingers to create something fresh and new can be very uplifting emotionally and psychologically.

Improves Concentration

Whether it’s kids or adults, finger painting is a highly engaging and involving activity that improves concentration. As all the focus is directed towards a small sheet of paper, it is a welcome change in today’s times where the mind is occupied with multiple things at any point.

Build Rapport and Connection

When a group of people (whether kids or adults) assemble for an exercise of finger painting, it can be a great way of creating a bond between the group. Art and painting parties are a popular concept the west. Organisations can also use finger painting as a teambuilding activity by making participants paint together on a large canvas.


Final Thoughts

To conclude, finger painting is a highly beneficial pastime, both for kids and adults. The activity can be done individually as well as in groups.
So what are you waiting for? Plan a finger-painting session soon, and experience the joy.