I can’t think of an eloquent word for the consistency that this creates. Paste? Slop? Sludge? It’s gooey and colorful and a little bit gross, which I think makes it perfect for young kids, always happy to stick their hands in goop.
This little activity is super simple and great entertainment for the kids. It’s messy, it’s fun, and my kids always love some good quality sensory play. As an added benefit, you can choose to do primary colors as an educational example of color blending.
A word of warning: this is an outdoor activity! Make sure that you immediately wash vinegar off of wood. I am a little embarrassed to admit that by letting my children do this inside on our table, I accidentally ruined the table by rushing them off to the bathtub rather than cleaning up first.
- Baking soda
- Food coloring or watercolors (food coloring may stain hands)
- Bowls and utensils for mixing
- (Optional) squirt bottles with vinegar water–careful where you do this!
1. In your bowls, add a cup or so of baking soda. You may use as many bowls/colors as you like.
2. Add water until it turns into a pasty consistency and stir together.
3. Add food coloring and stir.
4. Separate colors into containers. I did some stripes of color in a large Tupperware container for each kid.
5. Give them their squirt bottles and watch them have fun.
This is just a fun way to recycle your old dryer sheets into something pretty and potentially useful. The great part is that it’s so simple kids can do it, too. I like using them in vases with paper flowers,especially with painted paper. I’ve considered trying to crochet strips into something, but haven’t tried it yet.
Used fabric softener sheets
Cups or bowls with water
1. Add 15-20 drops of food coloring per cup of water. You can mix yellow and red for orange, and blue and green for turquoise. I have tried purple and am just never happy with the resulting grayish color–it lacks the vibrance of the other colors–but let me know if you figure out how to make purple work.
2. Push dryer sheets into the colored water until immersed. They should easily stay under the water once wet.
3. Let sit overnight, 8-12 hours.
4. Remove from water and lay flat or hang to dry.
5. Have fun playing with these.
I wrote an instructable for paper flower bouquet last week. This project creates my preferred paper to use in those bouquets–bubble painted paper. I used to do this even before I had the kids just because it’s so much fun.
This is, however, my first attempt with the girls. I’m sure it’s going to be a bit messy. Heck, my kids are always messy, so it doesn’t matter much. Just be prepared for the cleanup. On the bright side, it’s soap! Cleanup is always better when what you’re cleaning up is soap.
Let’s do this!
white paper (8 1/2 x 11 printer paper is what we used)
Cups or bowls
soap and water or bubble solution
1. Pour soap and water or bubble solution into bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring (adjust according to how bold you would like your colors to be). Give the cups or bowls a little swirl to distribute the color.
2. Distribute straws, bubble mix, and paper among all involved adults and kids. I had a 2 1/2 year old and an 18 month old participating. I quickly found out that the bubble mixture was inappropriate for my younger daughter, who tried to drink it. We then substituted her solution for colored almond milk, which she painted with and drank happily.
3. Blow bubbles onto your paper. They should cascade across your paper, clinging to it, creating fun marbling effects, and splattering color everywhere! It’s delightful.
4. Set aside to dry.
Once dry, these papers make lovely origami bases. I do suggest trying out a Paper Tulip Bouquet, which is fun and beautiful. Next week maybe we’ll do another related project!
Boy, it’s hot! The girls seem irritated that I’m so concerned with keeping them from getting sunburn and heatstroke and bored with sitting in the air conditioning, so I thought this back patio activity might help alleviate the boredom.
1. Fill trays with water.
2. Mix food coloring in your ice cube tray to desired colors. I only had gel food coloring, so I put a small amount on the toothpick and mixed it.
3. Freeze and save for a hot day.
Fresh or dried flowers
1. Fill tray with water.
2. Press flower heads into the water, submerging completely. Make sure these flowers are non-toxic, just in case.
3. Freeze. These will be fun for your little one to play with later! Obviously you don’t have to use flowers, I just used what we had from Mother’s day.