Marshmallow painting
Monday April 11, 2016

Sometimes a little variety is all it takes to make a normal activity so much more fun. This is true with today’s pediatric therapy activity: marshmallow painting. Occupational Therapist Elise Spronk came up with this idea when she was working with a picky eater who also didn’t care to finger paint. Most children love marshmallows and will love painting with them, and while they are having fun, they’ll experience many sensory development benefits.

The only supplies you need are marshmallows, finger paint (we recommend something washable), and either paper or a mirror.

Marshmallow painting 2





Have your child grab a marshmallow and dip it in a paint. You can either give your child an idea of something to draw or let their creativity flow!

IMG_3700IMG_3706Marshmallow painting 5

One idea we love with marshmallow painting is painting a self-portrait in a body length mirror. This will help your child work on body awareness and visual perception skills. But if you don’t want to clean mirrors, your child will still experience multiple sensory development benefits like:

  1. PINCER GRASP: A proper neat pincer grasp (the ability to grab a small object with the thumb and forefinger) is encouraged easily because of the size and shape of the marshmallow. Progressing from large to small marshmallows progresses the grip from a tripod (3-finger grip) to a neat pincer.
  2. REDUCED ANXIETY: For the child who doesn’t want to get his hands messy, the smallness of the marshmallow gets him really close to touching the paint in a safe manner so as not to increase anxiety. Eventually, with a little time and encouragement he may decide to try his fingers.
  3. PICKY EATING: The child who is a picky eater may have so much fun that he pops a few marshmallows in his mouth…hopefully not one covered in paint.

Want to learn more about how sensory preference might be impacting your child and how occupational therapy at Kinetic Edge can help? Then check out this article by Occupational Therapist Elise Spronk. 

Occupational therapy and pediatric services are available in our Pella and Oskaloosa clinics.