This is the second time we’re using puffy paint and the kids love it. It is extremely easy to make and that is why we make the paint together. I got my inspiration and recipe from The Artful Parent but I tweaked it a little to add more puffiness.
How to make puffy paint
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- food coloring or liquid watercolor (optional)
- ziplock bags and bag clips
1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. This was a great chance for my kids to work on measuring, pouring, and mixing with a whisk — all wonderful Montessori Practical Life activities combined with hands-on Math learning. I helped them to finish it by whisking thoroughly so we don’t get any clumps.
We added food coloring our first time, but since this time we are painting puffy clouds, we needed the paint to be white so we simply left the food color out.
2. Pour the mixture into ziplock bags. You can also use squeeze bottles that can be found at your local dollar store. But I really like using ziplock bags because it is an added sensorial experience for the kids to squeeze the paint, not to mention it is a brilliant hand muscle exercise for Z who turns 3 next week.
I poured my mixture into 2 bags, one for each of the kids. The first time when we made colors, there was more than enough paint in the recipe above to create 4 different colors.
3. Clamp and cut a corner off the ziplock bag. Just grab 3 corners of the ziplock bag and clamp it with a bag clip. Then cut off the remaining corner — the smaller the cut, the finer the paint (and it will also be less messy for your youngest artist).
Our puffy paint clouds
- Choose thicker material to paint on.
- Microwave the finished artwork for about 30 seconds on high setting.
Because you have to put the finished artwork into a microwave, you need to use a somewhat thick material. We used a thick paper plate this time around, and for our first time we used card stock and that worked well too.
I asked the kids to paint the whole plate blue before we started making our paint so that it has time to dry. Once the puffy paint is ready, just set everything on a tray and let them go to town!
Z was understandably more absorbed with the sensorial and squeezing aspect of the activity that he mostly just created a big blob of paint on the plate. And that was OK by me!
There was so much puffy paint left over that I joined in the fun too and created my own artful rendition of clouds. Then I decided I wanted to create the ocean for the bottom half because it looked a bit naked, so I just mixed the leftover paint with some blue liquid watercolor.
M (8 years old) made clouds that looks the prettiest in my opinion. They were slightly bigger blobs so they look the most like clouds when they puffed up in the microwave.
I scraped off most of the puffy paint from Z’s artwork before microwaving. The paint dries up hard to the touch and so there’s no more mess once you’ve microwaved it.
That’s it! It’s pretty easy and it kept the kids occupied for about 30 minutes with hands-on learning — practical life in the kitchen and learning new art techniques. Not to mention the sensorial exposure to various textures (flour, gooey puffy paint, squishy bag, hardened paint at the end).
Linking up to: Learn & Play Link Up