Kids and paint pretty much go hand in hand. As a teacher and parent, I love to see my child and niece making pictures using crayons, markers or paint. Not only does it provide them with a creative outlet and a way to express themselves, it is also a great way to improve fine motor skills, concentration, recognition and creativity. When you can offer a variety of paints to try, it becomes even more fun!
Here are several homemade paints you can easily and inexpensively make at home to keep your children occupied during the long Summer days. Most of these recipes will make extra, so I definitely recommend using containers with lids so they can be used again. Baby food jars, baby vegetable food containers and yogurt cups are just a few examples of containers that work well. Remember, always have your child wear an old t-shirt or smock to protect their clothes when painting. If you don’t have an easel, it is a good idea to lay newspaper down on the surface they are using.
1. Homemade Chalk Paint
This is one of our favorites to make as it is easy to make, fun to play with, and will easily wash off sidewalks. Keep in mind the colors will be a bit lighter than they appear in the container.
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup corn starch
An old muffin tin or other containers
1. Mix the cornstarch and cold water together in a small plastic bowl.
2. Add food coloring and stir.
3. Repeat this process for each color you want to make.
4. When it is time to clean up, get ready for some wet fun! To clean up chalk paint from concrete, just add water!
2. Washable Finger Paint
Kids love getting messy, moms love messes that are easy to clean! Here is a fast, fun finger paint recipe that washes off fingers and hands easily!
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
2 cups cold water
Containers, preferably ones with lids as you may have leftovers! It will keep for a few days in an airtight container.
1. In a medium sauce pan mix the cornstarch, salt, sugar and water.
2. Cook over low heat, for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. The mixture will start out thin, but it will eventually thicken. It is important that you keep stirring until the moment it turns from thin to thick. As soon as it does, remove from heat and let it cool off completely.
4. Once cooled, divide the mixture into separate containers (1 for each color).
5. Add several drops of food coloring to each container until you get the desired color. Stir well and let sit for a minute or two.
6. Time to paint!
**I have had no problems with this recipe staining hands. However, I do recommend wearing an old t-shirt or smock, and covering the table with newspaper. If you have carpet under your table, I’d cover that too – just to be on the safe side!**
3. Microwaved Puffy Paint
Homemade paint that puffs up in the microwave? Kids love it! This is a recipe I originally discovered on Mommy Labs that we have used several times since. Each time it is a huge hit!
1 cup flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 plastic baggies
4 rubber bands
1. In a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix together thoroughly.
2. Pour in enough water until it is the same consistency as pancake batter.
3. Divide the mixture evenly into the four plastic bags.
4. Add a few drops of food coloring to each bag.
5. Securely close each bag by twisting it at the top and securing with a rubber band so nothing leaks out.
6. Let the kids gently squish and knead the bags to combine the food coloring with the paint – almost as fun as painting!
7. Once thoroughly mixed, make a teeny-tiny hole in one corner of each bag so the kids can squeeze the paint out.
8. Time to paint!
Now here is the cool part! Once the children have finished their paintings, place the papers, one at a time, into the microwave and cook for about 10 to 15 seconds. If the paint still appears wet, put it back in for 5 second increments. I have put one of mine in for a second too long, and a brown scorch mark appeared on one spot of paint, so make sure to keep an eye on it – don’t heat it for too long.
If your kids want to watch, make sure they are standing a little ways away from the microwave.
Remove and enjoy the oooh’s and aaah’s!
4. Glue Paint
Here is an easy-to-make recipe that leaves paint super shiny once dry!
White school glue
Small bowls for mixing
Empty glue bottles or small squeeze bottles – how many depends on how many colors you plan to make
1. Divide about 1/4 cup of glue into each bowl.
2. Add several drops of food coloring and stir well.
3. Pour glue into individual squeeze bottles.
**You can also use Kool Aid in place of the food coloring – it smells great!**
Ready to get even more creative? Open the pantry and see if you can find these common ingredients to make these innovative paints!
5. Pudding Paint
Does your toddler like to put everything in their mouth? Use this fun finger paint and have no worries!
Several bowls – one per color
1. Make the vanilla pudding.
2. Divide the pudding equally into each bowl.
3. Add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl, stirring until you get the desired color.
4. Paint away! Kids can lick their fingers clean when done!
6. Moo Paint
This make a very bright and glossy paint, and only uses 2 ingredients to make!
1. Pour 1/4 cup condensed milk into each individual container.
2. Add a few drops of food coloring, mixing until you get the desired color.
3. Use a paintbrush and get creative!
Do you have a favorite homemade paint recipe you use with your children? I’d love to learn about it! Leave me a comment below!