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July Fourth Fingerpaint Fireworks

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Let the kids you care for have some messy fun with this July Fourth Fingerpainting activity! Children will engage their fine-motor skills and creativity with this open-ended art project from GIANT Encyclopedia of Preschool Activities for 3-Year-Olds


  • Paint smocks
  • Fingerpaint paper
  • Blue and red fingerpaint
  • Newspaper
  • White glue
  • Shallow containers
  • Swabs
  • Red and silver glitter


  1. Help the children put on smocks.
  2. Give each child a sheet of fingerpaint paper and a dollop of blue paint. Encourage them to use both hands, not just their fingertips, to spread the paint all over the paper to resemble a night sky.
  3. When the blue is distributed, give each child a small amount of red paint to create a dark purple color. It is not necessary to blend the two colors completely.
  4. Let the paintings dry overnight.
  5. The next morning, weight the dry paintings with heavy books for a few hours to flatten the pictures.
  6. Cover the work surface with newspaper and pour glue into shallow containers. Return each child's fingerpaintings.
  7. Show them how to dip swabs into the glue and swipe the swab onto the "night sky" to represent fireworks. Before the glue dries, sprinkle glitter on the glue lines. Repeat to create additional fireworks.

More to do

Music: Sing "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy."
Snack: Serve strawberries, cool whip, and a blue drink for a red, white, and blue snack!
Social Studies: Examine the American flag, discussing the colors and shapes. Compare it to the state flag.

Book: GIANT Encyclopedia of Preschool Activities for 3-Year-Olds
Center: Art
Topic: Holidays
Content: The Arts: Visual Arts
Area: Fine Motor
Age: 3 through 4 Years Old
Interaction: Large Group

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