Besides being an enjoyable sensory activity, finger painting provides many language opportunities for requesting. While this structured activity only took us ten minutes, keep in mind your child may want to take longer and really get into the process, creating some freestyle art or additional projects.
Here is some suggested target vocabulary to be modeled during the task:
Nouns: paper, paint, plates
Pronouns: I, me, you, we
Verbs: mix, pour, squeeze, dip, press, push,
Adjectives: more, wet, dry, nice, colorful, bright, pretty, red, green (or any colors of paint available)
1. Obtain a coloring sheet you wish to use. So many are available online! We got ours from twistednoodle.com. We chose an apple because we are still talking about back to school activities, but also because it only required two paint colors which kept the task shorter and less complicated.
2. Model use of verbs as you put the paint on paper plates. The verbs you use will vary based on the type of paint bottle you have. You can say "I am squeezing (or pouring) the paint on the plate for you." We also incorporated use of the word "mix" because we were out of green paint and had to mix some yellow and blue together. Children love mixing different paint colors and observing the results. This could almost be a separate activity!
3. Keep the plates slightly out of reach if possible. This will help your child request "more paint." You can model requests and questions too such as, "What do we need? More paint!" Or "You need some more red!"
4. Remember to use adjectives to describe many things during the activity. You can discuss the wet feeling of the paint or the bright colors used in the picture. Finally, don't forget to compliment your child's art work and provide positive reinforcement so that they want to revisit the activity another day!