Is Finger Paint Safe for Baby? Tips and Recommendations

As parents, we always want to give our babies the best and safest things. When it comes to baby products, safety is always a top priority. One of the most common ways for babies to explore and discover colors is through finger painting. But the question is, is finger paint safe for baby?

Finger painting is a great way to engage your baby’s senses and improve their creativity, but it is also important to ensure that the paint is safe for them to use. While many quality finger paints are made specifically for babies and toddlers, not all products on the market are safe for little ones. It is crucial to choose a paint that is free from harmful chemicals and non-toxic.

With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect finger paint for your baby. In this article, we’ll explore the safety concerns surrounding finger paints and provide you with tips on how to choose the safest paint for your little one. By making an informed decision, you can introduce your baby to the world of art without worrying about their safety.

Ingredients of Finger Paints

Finger paints are known to be a fun and creative way for babies to express themselves through art. However, as parents, it is important to ensure that the paints we use are safe for our little ones to avoid any potential health risks. Here are some common ingredients found in finger paints:

  • Glycerin: A clear and odorless liquid, often used in finger paints to promote elasticity and smoothness.
  • Talc: A mineral added to finger paints to absorb moisture and prevent caking.
  • Titanium Dioxide: A naturally occurring oxide that gives finger paints their white color, often used as a UV filter in sunscreens.

While these ingredients are generally considered safe, some parents may be wary of the potential risk of exposure to toxic substances such as lead and heavy metals. It is important to read the label carefully and look for finger paints specifically labeled as non-toxic and safe for children.

Types of Finger Paints Available

There are different types of finger paints available in the market, and it’s important for parents to choose the right one for their baby. Here are some of the common types of finger paints available:

  • Gel Finger Paints: These are thick and have a gel-like consistency, making them easy to work with and apply. They are also easier to clean up than other types of finger paints. Gel finger paints come in a variety of colors and are often marketed as washable or non-toxic.
  • Liquid Finger Paints: These are runnier and often come in bottles, making them easy to dispense. They are more suitable for older children, as they can be messier and harder to control for babies. Liquid finger paints come in a variety of colors and are often washable, making them easy to clean up.
  • Edible Finger Paints: These are made from natural ingredients and are safe for babies to eat. They are great for babies who are still exploring the world through their mouth. Edible finger paints come in a limited range of colors but are an excellent option to promote sensory exploration in an infant.

When selecting the right finger paint for your baby, it’s essential to pay attention to the ingredients list. Some finger paints may contain harmful chemicals, including heavy metals, which can be dangerous if ingested. Avoid finger paints that are labeled as “toxic” or “poisonous.”

It’s also important to supervise your baby while using finger paints, as they can easily put their fingers in their mouths. Wash your baby’s hands thoroughly after use, and avoid applying finger paints around the eyes or mouth to prevent accidental ingestion.


In conclusion, there are different types of finger paints available, making it essential to choose the right one for your baby. It’s recommended to opt for non-toxic, washable, and easy-to-clean options, such as gel finger paints. While finger painting with your baby can be a fun activity, it’s essential to supervise them to ensure their safety and avoid accidental ingestion.

Type Consistency Safety Colors Available
Gel Finger Paints Thick and gel-like Non-toxic, washable Wide range
Liquid Finger Paints Runnier consistency Non-toxic, washable Wide range
Edible Finger Paints Thick, easily spreadable Safe for ingestion Limited range

It’s always better to play safe and choose non-toxic, washable, and edible finger paints for your little ones’ artistic endeavors. This will make for a fun activity while keeping the baby safe from exposure to harmful chemicals.

Health Concerns Around Finger Paints

Finger painting is a popular activity for babies and young children to develop their creativity and sensory skills. However, parents should also be aware of the potential health risks associated with finger paints.

In this article, we will discuss the top three health concerns that parents should be mindful of when selecting and using finger paints with their babies.

1. Toxic Ingredients

  • Some types of finger paints contain toxic ingredients such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can be harmful if ingested or absorbed through the skin.
  • Parents should always check the ingredients list before purchasing any finger paints and opt for non-toxic, water-based paints that are labeled as safe for children under three years of age.
  • It is also advisable to supervise young children while they are finger painting and ensure that they do not put the paints or their hands in their mouths.

2. Allergic Reactions

Another concern with finger paints is the potential for allergic reactions, especially in babies or young children with sensitive skin or allergies to certain ingredients.

Parents should look for hypoallergenic finger paints that are free of common allergens such as latex and nuts. They should also conduct a patch test on their child’s skin before using the paints on a larger area of the body.

If any signs of an allergic reaction such as redness, swelling, or itching occur, parents should immediately stop using the paints and seek medical advice.

3. Inhalation Hazards

Finger paints can also pose inhalation hazards, especially if they contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can emit harmful fumes or odors.

Common VOCs found in finger paints and their potential health effects Source
Benzene – carcinogenic and toxic to the immune system and blood-forming organs Derived from certain pigments
Toluene – irritant to the respiratory system and central nervous system Common solvent used in oil-based paints
Xylene – can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea Derived from certain pigments

Parents should always use finger paints in a well-ventilated space and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and proper use, storage, and disposal of the paints.

By being aware of these health concerns and taking necessary precautions, parents can ensure a safe and enjoyable finger painting experience for their babies and young children.

Safe Age for Babies to Use Finger Paints

Introducing your baby to art is an excellent way to engage their senses and stimulate their creativity. However, safety should always be the top priority when it comes to choosing art supplies for your little one, and this includes finger paints.

  • 6 months and older: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies as young as six months can safely start experimenting with finger paints. At this age, babies are developing their hand-eye coordination and exploring the world through touch. Finger painting can help strengthen their fine motor skills and enhance their sensory experiences.
  • 12 months and older: By the age of one, most babies have developed enough dexterity to hold and manipulate a paintbrush or their fingers to create more complex artwork. At this stage, finger painting can also help enhance their language development by introducing new vocabulary to describe colors and textures.
  • 18 months and older: As babies become toddlers, they become more sophisticated in their approach to art. Finger painting can provide opportunities for toddlers to learn about cause and effect, as well as encourage their self-expression.

It’s important to remember that every child develops at their own pace, and what might be appropriate for one six-month-old might not be suitable for another. Parents should always supervise their children and choose high-quality, non-toxic finger paints that are specifically designed for young children.

When selecting finger paints, look for products that:

Criteria Considerations
Non-toxic Check for certifications such as ASTM D-4236 or AP (Approved Product) Seal to ensure the product is safe for babies to use.
Washable Choose paints that are easy to wash off from hands, clothes, and surfaces. This will make the clean-up process less stressful for parents and more enjoyable for babies.
Age-appropriate Make sure the finger paints are suitable for your baby’s age and developmental stage. Some products may have small or sharp parts that can be hazardous to young children.

Overall, finger painting can be a fun and safe activity for babies and toddlers if done correctly. By choosing the right supplies and supervising your child, you can help them develop their motor skills, cognitive abilities, and creative expression.

Non-Toxic Finger Paint Brands for Babies

Choosing the right finger paint for your baby can be a daunting task, especially when you consider their safety. Most traditional finger paints contain harmful chemicals that can be unsafe for your baby’s delicate skin, as well as when ingested. To make things easier for you, we have listed down some non-toxic finger paint brands for babies that you can use with confidence.

  • Crayola My First Finger Paint
  • Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paint
  • Natural Earth Paint
  • Kwik Stix Tempera Paint Sticks
  • Made By Me Finger Paints

Crayola My First Finger Paint is a popular choice among parents as it is non-toxic and washable. It comes in a set of four bright colors that are perfect for introducing your baby to the world of art. Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paint is another great option that is free from common allergens and easy to clean. For parents looking for a more eco-friendly and organic option, Natural Earth Paint is a wonderful choice. It is made from natural ingredients like organic cornstarch and natural pigments, making it completely non-toxic and safe for babies to use.

Kwik Stix Tempera Paint Sticks are an innovative and mess-free way to introduce your baby to painting. They come in various colors and can be used on paper as well as other surfaces like wood, canvas, and more. Made By Me Finger Paints is another non-toxic option that provides a fun and sensory experience for babies. They come in easy-to-use squeeze bottles that are perfect for little hands.


It is important to choose non-toxic finger paint brands for your baby to ensure their safety. By using any of the above-listed brands, you can be confident that your baby will have a fun and safe painting experience. As always, it is recommended to supervise your baby while painting and to clean up any spills or messes immediately.

Brand Features
Crayola My First Finger Paint Non-toxic, washable, bright colors
Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paint Non-toxic, easy to clean, free from common allergens
Natural Earth Paint Organic, eco-friendly, non-toxic
Kwik Stix Tempera Paint Sticks Mess-free, versatile, non-toxic
Made By Me Finger Paints Non-toxic, sensory experience, easy-to-use squeeze bottles

Make painting a fun and safe activity for your baby with these non-toxic finger paint brands.

DIY Finger Paint Recipes for Babies

Painting is a fun and stimulating activity for babies. However, traditional paint may contain harmful chemicals that could cause health problems if ingested. Fortunately, you can create DIY finger paint that is safe for your baby.

  • Flour-based finger paint: Mix one cup of flour and a quarter cup of salt in a saucepan. Add two cups of cold water and stir until smooth. Put the saucepan on heat and continue whisking until the mixture thickens. Divide the mixture into smaller containers, and add food coloring.
  • Cornstarch-based finger paint: Combine one cup of cornstarch and three cups of water in a saucepan. Heat the mixture and whisk continuously until the paint thickens. Remove from heat and add food coloring.
  • Pudding-based finger paint: Mix instant pudding powder with cold water in a bowl. Add food coloring to the mixture and stir until well combined.

Make sure to use safe and non-toxic food coloring to avoid any potential allergic reactions or other health issues. It’s recommended to test the paint on a small area of your baby’s skin before using it for painting.

Here is a comparison table of the three DIY finger paint recipes:

Ingredients Difficulty Level Drying Time Safety
Flour, salt, water, and food coloring Easy 1-2 hours Safe
Cornstarch, water, and food coloring Medium 2-3 hours Safe
Instant pudding powder, water, and food coloring Easy 40-60 minutes Safe, but may be tempting to eat

Remember to always supervise your baby while they are painting and ensure that they do not put the paint in their mouth. With these DIY finger paint recipes, you can safely introduce your baby to the wonderful world of art.

Safety Tips While Using Finger Paints with Babies

As a parent, you want your baby to receive the best possible care and protection. One fun way to engage in sensory play with your baby is by using finger paints. However, it is important to ensure that your baby is safe while using finger paints. Here are some safety tips that you should keep in mind:

  • Always supervise your baby while they are using finger paints. This will help you identify any potential hazards and prevent accidents from happening.
  • Use non-toxic, washable finger paints that are specifically made for babies. Avoid using artist-grade paints, as they may contain harmful chemicals or pigments that can cause reactions or irritations on your baby’s skin.
  • Before using the finger paints, test them on a small area of your baby’s skin to check for any signs of allergic reactions or irritations. Wait for 24 hours to see if there are any reactions before using the finger paints again.

In addition to these safety tips, it is important to keep your baby clean and comfortable while using finger paints. Here are some tips that will help you:

1. Dress your baby in old clothes or a smock to protect their clothing from stains and spills.

2. Protect the floor and furniture with plastic sheets or newspaper to avoid any damage.

3. Use wipes or a wet towel to clean your baby’s hands and face after using the finger paints. Wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after the activity to avoid any lingering residue.

To summarize, finger painting can be a great way to engage in sensory play with your baby. However, it is important to prioritize their safety while doing so. By following these safety tips, you can ensure that your baby has a fun and safe time while finger painting.


1. Can babies choke on finger paint?

It’s unlikely that babies will choke on finger paint as it’s made with non-toxic ingredients and has a thick and gooey consistency that is not easily ingested.

2. Is finger paint safe for babies to use?

Yes, finger paint is generally safe for babies to use as long as it’s made with non-toxic ingredients and used under supervision.

3. Can finger paint cause skin irritation on babies?

It’s possible that some babies may develop skin irritation from finger paint due to the ingredients used, so it’s best to do a patch test before use.

4. Are there any age restrictions for using finger paint on babies?

There are no age restrictions for using finger paint on babies, but it’s recommended to wait until they have developed fine motor skills and can sit up without assistance.

5. What should I do if my baby ingests finger paint?

If your baby ingests finger paint, contact your pediatrician or seek medical attention immediately.

6. How should I clean up after using finger paint with my baby?

Clean up finger paint with soap and warm water as soon as possible to avoid staining or damage to surfaces. It’s also important to clean your baby’s hands thoroughly to avoid any accidental ingestion.

7. Can finger paint help my baby’s development?

Finger painting can help your baby’s development as it encourages sensory exploration, creativity, and improves hand-eye coordination.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to read about the safety of finger paint for babies. Remember to always use non-toxic finger paint and supervise your baby during use. Don’t forget to clean up promptly after use to avoid any accidents. Explore more fun and safe activities for your baby to help them grow and learn. Don’t forget to visit us again later for more parenting tips and advice!