Practicing the Scientific Method with Puffy Paint

based on 31 ratings
Author: Kathy Phillips

Grade level: Kindergarten to 3rd; Type: general science


In this project children practice the scientific method by making and experimenting with different kinds of puffy paint* and recording the results.

*Puffy paint is a colored, whipped cream-textured substance that can be applied like paint and that when dry maintains its 3-dimensinality or puffiness.

Research Questions:

  • What can you mix to make puffy paint?
  • Does puffy paint stick to any surface?
  • What happens to puffy paint over time?
  • How long does puffy paint take to dry?
  • Does the texture change and does it hold its puffy consistency?


  • Glue
  • Shaving fream
  • Flour
  • Glitter
  • Food coloring
  • Sugar
  • Paper
  • Dish liquid
  • Foil (1 piece dull side up – 1 piece shiny side up)
  • Plastic container (for mixing the glue and shaving cream)
  • Six paper plates (for mixing different ingredients into puffy paint)
  • Six plastic spoons
  • Newspaper or art cloth (to cover the table)
  • Paintbrushes or squeeze bottles (label the bottles)

Experimental Procedure:

  1. Mix equal amounts of glue and shaving cream.
  2. Divide the mixture evenly onto the six paper plates.
  3. Mix in one ingredient per plate (flour, food coloring (2 colors), glitter, sugar and dish liquid). Be sure to use a different spoon for each mixture.
  4. Use paintbrushes or fill the squeeze bottles and create pictures.
  5. Try the paints on different surfaces.
  6. Answer the research questions and record your observations.

Terms/Concepts: scientific method, materials, procedure, observation, record


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