Cinnamon Scented Finger Paint for Sensory Play

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I had made homemade finger paint a while back with my friend Sarah and her kids over vacation this summer. Since it is super easy to make, I decided to make a fall inspired version using cinnamon  to add the sense of smell to this sensory activity. It turned out to be lots of fun for my 1 year old!

Cinnamon Scented Finger Paint

First I got all my ingredients together:

  • 2 tsp Cinnamon Spice Blend
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • Food coloring

Cinnamon Scented Finger Paint 1

First thing you need to do is mix the corn starch, water and sugar in a pan and heat it until it thickens.

Once it is thick and somewhat cooled you can add the food coloring and cinnamon scent. To make the brown color all I did was add 2 tsp of cinnamon to the mixture. For the orange and green colored ones I just added a tiny bit of the cinnamon and then added enough food coloring to get the color I wanted. For orange I used 2 squirts of red and 1 squirt of yellow food coloring.

Cinnamon Scented Finger Paint 2

Once it was completely cooled I took it in the kitchen and spread out two large pieces of paper on the floor. I stripped E down to her diaper and then put her craft bib on her.

She went to town with this and I think most of it ended up on her instead of the paper! 😉

Cinnamon Scented Finger Paint 3

Cinnamon Scented Finger Paint 4

Cinnamon Scented Finger Paint 5

I didn't get a picture, but she ended up walking all over the paper with the paint on it and had it literally up all the sides of her leg, haha! Needless to say we got a bath directly after this! 😉

Skills used in with Cinnamon Scented Finger Paint

  • Sensory exploration (Touch, taste (it is edible incase they eat it!), smell (cinnamon), sight (colors – orange, green, brown), sound (in our case this was E walking across the paper after she was done! But is hearing the paint against the paper would count too!)
  • Eye-Hand coordination – able to put hands into the container and pull out the glue, then transferring it to the paper.
  • Pre-writing skills – Using the paint to make letter in names, if age appropriate.
  • Finger Isolation – Using index finger to paint.

I had a lot of this left over and just placed it into a mason jar to save for a later date! This makes a lot, so if you don't use it all you can just save it for later!


This post is part of the 10 Days of Fine Motor & Sensory Activities for Children series! Click Here to see the rest of the posts in this series.


Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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