Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved DIY art and craft projects. Making up doll furniture by re-cycling egg cartons and cutting strips of newspaper for dousing in glue to make papier-mache were some of my most favourite activities. Best of all, I loved creating artworks using food. Grains of rice, lentils and dried beans featured in a lot of my "masterpieces".
This past year, my 4 year old has kicked it up a notch by learning to make slime and play-doh at school using flour, food colouring and glue, so when she mentioned she wanted to make squishy-puffy paint the DIY'er in me got all excited.
A couple years ago, I had come across a YouTube video on how to make edible food paints for toddlers; As the mum of a curious 18 month old who was trying to taste everything in sight (including crayons), i was intrigued! This edible food paint was basically a mixture of flour and water and food dye.
With a little help from google and drawing on food-chemistry knowledge picked up from years of baking and watching Alton Brown on TV, we found ourselves in the kitchen mixing up our very own Home-made 3D Squishy-Puffy Paint! Seriously, this activity is A LOT of fun. Especially because it involves 'cooking' your paintings in the microwave to activate the ingredients and get them to set.
A highly recommended, fun activity for kids of all ages ... well, those who are old enough to hold paintbrushes :)
Why is this good? SO many reasons!
1. Its cheap (practically free!) 2. It's non-toxic in case a curious kiddo tries to eat it!
3. Fun Science Lesson 4. Easy and quick to make & 5. It is earth-friendly!
- 1 cup All-Purpose flour
- 1.5 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 cup Table Salt
- Water, as required
- Food colouring, few drops (gel or liquid either will do)
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Whisk or fork for mixing the ingredients
- Muffin tray (optional) for mixing the colours
- Wooden craft/ ice-cream sticks
1. Using a whisk or a fork, mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) in a bowl.
2. Scoop 2 tbsp of the dry mix into each 'well' / section of your muffin tray. Using a teaspoon gradually add water to each section and stir with a wooden kraft stick to mix it into a smooth paste - kind of like a thin cake batter / blended yoghurt.
Note: Store any remaining 'dry-mix' in an air tight container for a later day!
3. Add a few drops of food colouring to each section. Stir well to incorporate and make the 'paint' a uniform colour. Make up as many colours as you like!
4. Let your little one go nuts painting onto paper or card stock! Thick paper works best.
5. Once they're done painting, pop the artwork onto a microwave-safe plate and microwave for
10-12 seconds. The paint will puff up and the surface of the paint will be dry. 'Cooking' any longer than 12 seconds will result in a crackly, brittle paint.
6. All done!
Getting your child actually sit down in one place and be engaged in an activity that needs little adult supervision for one whole hour? MAJOR Parenting win! :)