Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fingerpaint Phonics

Here it is, the end of the school year! My students have made it through all 135 phonics lessons of our curriculum and we still have a week to go. This class has done so well with reading and writing and summer is coming quickly. I know that many of the students may not read or write much over the summer, so I came up with an idea that they thought was a blast and I think they might continue to try at home.

I have to admit that after nearly 40 weeks of kindergarten, I can not believe I have NEVER brought out the finger paints for my class! They LOVED it! I should have done this sooner. The first time a child finger paints is truly a priceless. Most of them put one finger in the paint and looked tentatively at me. After being reassured that it was okay to do, they dove in and started to mix colors. After a few trial and errors, we went with only two primary colors so that they could see how they mix to make another color. 

Before the writing/reading lesson began, I let the children experiment with how the paint felt, mixed, and how designs could be made by dragging their fingers in wavy and circular patterns all over the paper.

As I said, most students were a bit tentative about how messy they were willing to get their fingers. You can see below that some children had absolutely no reservation about diving in! I had to stop this one from lathering all the way up to the elbows!

After the students experimented with the paper, I had them spread the paint to every edge of the paper. I then said a word and had the students repeat the word back to me slowly. They used a finger to spell the word in the paint. For those who struggled, I had them say the word slowly again. As the initial sound was made, they drew that letter. They then added the medial vowel the same way. Finally, they said the final sound and added that letter or digraph.


The students enjoyed this activity so much, they asked to do it later during our "free choice" center time. They worked in pairs with each other, taking turns pretending that one of them was the student and the other one was the teacher. One student would say the word and the other student would try to spell the word. The terrific part of this activity is that it is so easy to create a blank slate over and over again. I hope you get to enjoy this activity with your students!



  1. Looks messy and FUN! :) Your newest follower... COme visit us!

  2. Christina, I love it! School is over now for me, but on the last day we were drawing numbers, shapes and letters in shaving cream. I decided to get the really-good-smelling kind (fruit/flower scents). Do you have really big plans for the summer?

    Sharon Dudley, NBCT

  3. How fun! I am your newest follower. :)

    Sprinkles to Kindergarten


I would love to know what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...