Finger paint can essentially be any type of paint applied with the fingers.
Toddlers and preschoolers especially love painting with the fingers.
Fingerpainting allows kids the opportunity to freely express themselves artistically and create artwork they can feel a connection to.
Click here for fingerpainting kids craft ideas.
Wikipedia has an interesting definition for Fingerpaint: "... is a kind of paint intended to be applied with the fingers; it typically comes in pots and is used by small children, though it has occasionally been used by adults either to teach art to children, or for their own use".
There is absolutely no reason why adults can not get in on the fun!
Generally any type of paint can be used, although commercial paint, specifically formulated for this purpose is available.
This form of expressive painting stimulates the senses - which can be enhanced by adding contrasting textures such as sand or even ice cubes on a hot day.
A variety of materials including heavy paper, plastic, fabric, lino, wood, glass, canvas or corrugated plastic can be used to experiment with.
If you have a young toddler who is most likely going to put their fingers in their mouth while painting, it is extremely important that you carefully read the labels of everything you buy.
Ensure that the color is non-toxic, that it conforms to the applicable standards for your region and that it has been manufactured by a reputable company.
Look for the words "Children Safe" on the packaging. Beware of cheap and poorly labeled paints especially those made in China. A lot of these products are not properly tested and can contain high levels of lead amongst other nasties.
You can find good and safe Fingerpaint at Amazon.com.
It is inexpensive to buy, but it even cheaper and very easy to make at home using basic non-toxic ingredients.
Fingerpaint - especially homemade - is easy to clean with a damp cloth, baby wipes or even a hose - if your child has been crafting outdoors.
It will easily wash off little hands with soap and water, and does not stain clothing.
See Clean Up for tips and tricks on reducing the mess and making the clean up easier.
Click here for fingerpainting easy crafts for children.