Clean Fingerpainting

Gabriel was a particularly interesting child in my class one year.  He LOVED animals; he HATED getting messy and water.

No, he HATED water.  When we had water play days he would go to the FURTHEST corner of the yard and would jump at any chance to get out of the area if it meant setting up for lunch and putting out mats (which is saying a lot because he also refused to eat anything for the first 6 months in the classroom…no exageration).

His mom told me that he would oblige her in getting into the bath tub, but it was a whirlwind experience.  First, the toe would hesitantly dip in and then, once the toe was wet, he would get in, rush through the washing, and jump out AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and sometimes sooner.

It would stand to reason, then, that he hated messy play because messy play leads to baths!

With a bit of patience and coercing, I did manage to get him to finger paint.  How?  By letting him finger paint WITHOUT TOUCHING THE PAINT!


Well, get yourself some paper.  Tape it down on the table and then put some blobs of paint on top of the paper.  Next, put some plastic wrap over the paper and paint.  Let the child squish and twist and paint with the plastic wrap covering the paper.  You may need to tape down the plastic wrap for those extreme cases like Gabriel.

The great thing is the child can see what’s going on and still freely create.  Plus, children who are tactily sensitive can still enjoy the activity!

It’s also a fun activity for those who like to get messy.  They still manage to do so, but they love the experience as well.

Another solution is to let a child put on latex gloves or food handler gloves. 

Do you have some solutions to for the tactily sensitive?

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