Make a Decorative Paperweight! Activity

4.0 based on 22 ratings
Updated on May 23, 2013

Activities that require your child to use science process skills such as observing what happens and describing objects are important as your child explores her environment. Water, corn syrup, sequins and food coloring may sound like an unusual combination for a project, but your preschooler will love using these ingredients to create a unique art project while exploring what happens when different liquids are mixed together!

What You Need:

  • Baby food jar with lid or other small jar with lid
  • Small decorative eraser
  • Sequins and/or glitter
  • Corn syrup
  • Food coloring
  • Measuring cup
  • Water
  • Glue
  • Hot glue gun (for adult use only)
  • Small piece of fabric cut into a circle shape and ribbon to decorate the lid (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Use your hot glue gun to glue the decorative eraser inside the jar.  (You can find cute designs in packages of 20 – 30 for about a dollar at most discount stores).  Allow your little one to help select the eraser design to personalize the project. 
  2. Once the eraser is securely glued inside of the jar, your child can begin to assemble her paperweight. Help your child measure and pour ¼ cup of corn syrup into the jar. 
  3. Pour water into the jar to finish filling the jar with liquid. 
  4. Let your child decide what color food coloring to add to the mixture. Add a few drops until she gets the desired color. Stir with a spoon or wooden craft stick to mix the syrup, water, and food coloring.
  5. Now the creativity begins! Add sequins and/or glitter to further decorate the paperweight. Your child will probably notice that the sequins and glitter seem to move in “slow motion” when added to the syrup and water mixture. Note: Remind your child to be very careful with the glitter and wash her hands after handling the glitter before touching her face or eyes.
  6. After all of the contents have been added, apply glue with the hot glue gun around the inner ring of the jar lid and screw the lid onto the jar. Allow the jar to sit for several hours or overnight to allow time for the glue to dry.
  7. Once the glue has dried, your child can pick up the paperweight and shake the jar to watch the contents move from the top of the jar to the bottom of the jar in slow motion. It’s like magic! If desired, your child can use the fabric circle and ribbon to make a decorative lid for the paperweight and then give it as a gift.


Latrenda Knighten has spent 19 years teaching in a variety of elementary school classrooms, from kindergarten through fifth grade. For nine of those years, she taught kindergarten. She also served as an elementary school math and science specialist. She lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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