Homemade Paint Activity

3.7 based on 7 ratings
Updated on Sep 25, 2012

Every young artist needs a good set of supplies before she can let her imagination loose. This easy indoor activity teaches kids how to mix kitchen ingredients into watercolor paints, while giving a crash course in color-combining. Colors come out just as bright as the store-bought kind, but cost just a fraction of the price.

What You Need:

  • 4 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 ½ tablespoons white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoons
  • 5 clear plastic cups
  • Food coloring
  • Plastic wrap
  • Paint brushes
  • Watercolor paper

What You Do:

  1. Have your child measure the baking soda and put it into a mixing bowl.
  2. Slowly add 2 ½ tablespoons of vinegar to the baking soda. Stir until the fizzing dies down.
  3. Now measure and add ½ teaspoon of corn syrup and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and stir to mix all the ingredients.
  4. Help your child pour the mixture from the bowl into 5 separate clear plastic cups, equally dividing the mixture.
  5. Add a few drops of food coloring to each cup. Your child can also mix colors to see what she can create.
  6. Stir the four cups to make sure colors are mixed evenly, adding extra color drops if needed.
  7. Cover each cup with plastic wrap and let paints sit overnight. They’ll dry and form hard circles of watercolor paints, just like the kind at the store!

The paints are now ready to use! Just add water to her paint brush, dip it in paint, and let your imagination loose.

Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.

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