Mini Topic: Paint


Any way you mix it, paint can be turned into an exciting material with everyday additions, says Kevin Kelman

Try using some of these recipes to provide the children with a range of sensory experiences when using paint in your setting.

Puff paint

What you need

  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • food colouring or poster paint
  • squeezy bottles that have been washed out - for example, use squeezy tomato ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise containers

What to do

  • Add the food colouring to the water.
  • Stir all the ingredients together.
  • Pour the mixture into the squeezy bottles.
  • Make different colours of puff paint and label the bottles.
  • Invite the children to squeeze the mixture on to paper plates or cardboard.
  • As an alternative to food colouring, use poster paint.
  • When the puff paint dries, it has a raised texture and it sparkles.


Jelly finger paint

What you need

  • 1/2 cup of cornflour
  • 1 pack of jelly crystals
  • 3/4 cup of cold water
  • 2 cups of boiling water

What to do

  • Mix the cold water with the cornflour to make a paste.
  • Slowly add the jelly crystals to the boiling water. Wait until the crystals are completely dissolved.
  • Make sure the mixture has cooled before giving it to the children to use.


Textured finger paint

What you need

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • food colouring or poster paint

What to do

  • Mix the flour and the salt and then add the water.
  • Mix until all three ingredients are blended thoroughly.
  • Add a few drops of liquid food colouring or poster paint until the desired colour is reached.
  • If necessary, you may add extra flour and salt in the following proportions: two teaspoons of flour, followed by one teaspoon of salt until the desired consistency is reached.


Glossy poster paint

What you need

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup of flour
  • powdered paint
  • washing-up liquid

What to do

  • Pour the flour into the saucepan and place on a medium heat.
  • Slowly add water. Stir until smooth.
  • Leave the pan on the heat and stir constantly until the mixture thickens.
  • Divide the mixture equally into four yoghurt pots.
  • Add three tablespoons of powdered paint, two tablespoons of water and 1/2 teaspoon of washing-up liquid to each.


Invisible paint

What you need

  • 4 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tablespoons of water

What to do

  • Mix the water and soda.
  • Encourage the children to use cotton buds to paint with the mixture.
  • When dry, cover the 'painting' with diluted watercolours to reveal the invisible picture.


Glimmer paint

  • Mix 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of water and food colouring to create paint that glimmers when it is dry.


Textured paint

  • Mix sea salt with poster paint for a thick, sandy paint, which creates interesting textures as it dries.


Milk paint

  • Mix 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk with a few drops of food colouring until the desired colour is achieved. This edible paint is perfect for decorating rice paper or plain biscuits with a pastry brush.


Scented paint

  • Add jelly crystals to poster paint. Add cherry to red paint; lime to green paint; lemon to yellow paint, and so on.


Fun finger paint

  • Mix one cup of washing powder and five tablespoons of poster paint. Add 1/4 cup of water until smooth and creamy.


Colourful finger paint

  • Mix 1/2 cup of cornflour and four cups of water in a pan and boil until it thickens to a pudding consistency. When cool, pour into smaller containers such as yoghurt pots and add several drops of food colouring and mix.

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