Surprisingly simple ideas that use stuff you’ll have at home
Images and words: Sara Conway
1 Foam paint: let them make their mark and then wipe it away
You’ll need: shaving foam, food colouring
- Get your kids to squirt shaving foam into the compartments of a paint tray, muffin tin or a few beakers.
- Add a few drops of food colouring to each section. You can mix colours. We had red, yellow and blue and used them to mix green, orange and purple.
- Now get them to stir… and paint!
Ideal for decorating a plastic tray, inside a bathtub, or outdoor windows. It washed off our surfaces but please do test a small hard-to-see area before letting your kids go wild.
2 Chocolate paint: a crowd pleaser that’s safe for toddlers and fun for tweens.
You’ll need: Hot chocolate and water
Just make a strong cup of hot chocolate then let it cool (we did 3 teaspoons in a small cup). Now your kids can use it like watercolour paint. We wanted ours to look like cave paintings, so we painted lions, tigers and bears.
3 Puffy paint: give boring old paints a new life!
You’ll need: shaving foam, flour, PVA glue, paint (or food colouring)
- Get your kids to squirt one cup of shaving foam into a bowl.
- Now they add 1/3 cup of flour and 1/3 cup of PVA glue.
- Help them mix it carefully to keep in the air.
- Now they split it into containers and add colour with a squirt of paint (or a drop of food colouring).
- Finally, they put it into a sandwich bag and snip off the corner so they can squeeze it out.
TIP: Cover a piece of card with a piece of cling film so they can create extra puffy pictures.
This video shows you how to make puffy paint.
4 Yoghurt paint: perfect for really little kids
Just give your tot a pot of yoghurt to paint with in their high chair. They can use a brush and make patterns with their fingers. Then wipe it all away.
5 Ice ice baby: a safe sensory painting idea
Put food colouring and water in the cubes of an ice tray, pop in a lolly stick or spoon and wait for it to freeze. Now your kids can use them as paintbrushes. The ice will start to melt as it touches the page, leaving swirls of colour.