Thursday, May 14, 2009

Food-Coloring Painting

Since Wednesday is Recipe Day, I thought I'd make Thursday Activity Day. I'll try to post a fun activity every week, and if you're a contributor, feel free to post something as well.

Here's another fun activity from The Toddler's Busy Book by Trish Kuffner (in a previous post I mentioned how I'm going to try to do one of her activities a week with my kids). For those of you who own a copy, it's on page 239 in the Arts and Crafts section.

Food-Coloring Painting

You need:

Food coloring
Paper towels or coffee filters

Make your own paint by adding food-coloring to water, enough to get the color you want. Brush the mixture onto a piece of paper towel or coffee filter. Use several colors. When the paper towel is soaked, remove and let dry. Then mount on construction paper to display.

I mostly did this activity for C because I haven't been very good about letting her experiment with art, like I was with N. I thought she'd like this activity, and I was right. She loved watching the paper towel absorb the liquid paint and seeing the colors quickly spread on the paper towel. N also enjoyed it, and they each went through about 3 paper towels. I taught N a new word too: absorbing. I'm pretty sure he won't remember, but it's always good teach them something new, even if they might not really get it. Although, I'm always surprised at the things N does understand that I think he won't. Anyway, both my kids really enjoyed this activity, and their work is proudly displayed on the refrigerator.

I liked this activity because all the supplies are things you have on hand and it was easy to do and clean up.


  • beware that little ones might try drinking the "paint." In the two seconds I turned to help N, C tried to drink her pink paint. Luckily, this paint won't hurt them at all if they drink it.
  • have little ones where a bib. N wanted to wear his apron, which was a good idea too. This activity can get a little messy with kids drinking and spilling the paint.
  • beware the surface you let them do this on. It might be a good idea to put something under the paper towel to protect the surface. I might have stained C's high chair tray. I'm not sure yet, though. I'm going to try a magic eraser to see if it gets it out.

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