Most little ones absolutely love to get their hands covered in paint! There’s nothing quite like the sensory experience of covering your entire hand with paint and squishing it between your fingers.
There is also so much learning taking place. Aside from the sensory benefits, finger painting helps develop fine motor skills, build hand-eye coordination, foster imagination, encourage self-expression…
Are you convinced yet?
Good! Because today I have a fun little preschool moon craft for you that involves, yep, finger painting!
Oh wait, did you say no? If it’s the mess scaring you away, keep reading anyway, because I have some tips coming up to make finger painting with preschoolers less messy just for you.
This activity is part of my preschool program, Play into Kindergarten Readiness. It includes 28 weeks of daily activities to enjoy with your little one, covering all fundamental preschool skills through play! Take a peek right here: https://shop.howweelearn.com/pages/play-into-kindergarten-readiness
Tips for Finger Painting with Preschoolers
Let’s face it, painting with preschoolers is messy. But it is oh so worth it!
As promised, here are a few things you can do to help contain the mess and make clean-up a breeze:
- Cover your working area with a large piece of paper or a plastic tablecloth to protect surfaces.
- Wear a painting smock or old clothes that you don’t mind getting messy.
- Mix washable paints with dish soap to make clean-up extra easy. The paint will wash right off those little hands!
- Put everything on a large cookie sheet! Paper, paints, a small bowl of water, a cloth for wiping off hands… pop everything on that cookie sheet to help your little one keep their painting contained. And when that bowl of water inevitably spills? Mess contained!
- Have water and towels on hand to wipe up spills or messes along the way.
- Take it outside! If the weather permits, take your painting session outside and let those little ones get messy.
If finger painting with your little one isn’t for you, I get it, but since you’re still here reading, I’m going to assume you’re up for it.
So let’s get to it!
Preschool Moon Craft: Painting the Moon
As I mentioned, this craft is from my preschool program, Play into Kindergarten Readiness. The curriculum is divided into seven monthly themes, and this is one of the activities from the Moon theme.
Before getting into the preschool moon craft, you may wish to read a book about the moon together. I recommend six books that you can take out from the library in Play into Kindergarten Readiness, but one of my favorites is Moon: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup.
While you’re reading, you can point out the texture of the moon and how it has craters and various marks on it, lighter sections and darker sections. Maybe you’ll even be able to see ‘The Man in the Moon!’
When you’re all done reading, it’s time to make your very own moon.
For the activity, you’ll need:
- Dish soap
- Paper plate
- A picture of the moon
- Scissors (optional)
Set your book or a picture of the moon somewhere for your child to reference as they’re painting. We used the vocabulary cards included with Play into Kindergarten Readiness, so there was no worry about paint accidentally making its way onto our library book.
Mix your washable paint with some dish soap (about a 50/50 mixture) and pour it onto a paper plate. The dish soap makes cleaning hands (and tables… and floors…) so much easier!
Now have your little one paint away with his fingers. He can use his nails to make different marks and craters on the moon. Smush the palm of his hand, his fingertips, and any which way he can think of to make his moon textured.
Once dry, you can hang up the moon in a window or in your child’s bedroom.
We decided to cut our moons out when the paint dried, but that is totally optional.
Preschool Moon Craft: Extension Activity
If your little one is showing an interest in the moon, you could use your paper plate moon teach them about the moon phases.
To do this, cut your moon in half, then cut each of those haves into a crescent shape. I flipped our moon over and traced out the lines on the back before cutting out the shapes.
You’ll now have four different ‘moon pieces’ that you can use to show eight moon phases:
- New Moon
- Waxing Cresent
- First Quarter
- Waxing Gibbous
- Full Moon
- Waning Gibbous
- Third Quarter
- Waning Cresent
I hope your little one loved their moon craft!
If you want even more ideas like this—engaging, beautiful, and planned for you day-by-day—you’ll want to check out Play into Kindergarten Readiness! The preschool curriculum covers all core preschool skills in ONE 20-minute activity a day.
Take a peek right here: