Unusual Art Supplies: Kids Food Coloring Fun from The Good Long Road

Let’s welcome Jenni from The Good Long Road today to share an unusual art supply that her kiddos love…

I love art activities that introduce kids to the concept that art can be made with non-traditional materials. Here are 2 examples. The first requires food coloring, a straw, and paper (items you probably have at home if you have kids). The second also uses food coloring. This time in a spray bottle (the $1 ones that they typically have at Target or Wal-Mart work fine) plus fabric.

Straw Blown Food Coloring Painting

food coloring 1

For this splatter art, put 3-5 drop of food coloring on your piece of paper. Then, have children blow through the straw as the straw hovers above the food coloring. Kids love learning how to manipulate the colors with the air coming through the straw. It’s fun, too, to experiment with doing less food coloring drops on one piece of paper and more food coloring drops on another and to explore different color combinations. I’ve also done this activity with natural dyes created from beets and rainbow chard stems. 

food coloring 2
This one uses the natural dyes and was done by my toddler.

Spray Bottle Food Coloring Painting

Food coloring activity #2 – Fill spray bottles with food coloring and water (I recommend having at least 2 bottles so that you can offer 2 different colors). Get your fabric of choice and, ideally, hang it from a clothes line. (We used large fabric scraps leftover from another art activity). Once everything is set up, let the kids spray away. Kids love this, especially when you call it graffiti.
food coloring 3

If you don’t have a clothes line, you could also lay the fabric down on the ground or on a table and let the children stand above it and spray, but a clothes line works best because then the spray bottles stay upright and spray more effectively.

So, next time you are facing disappointed kids because you’ve run out of paint and painting is the exact thing they wanted to do — grab some food coloring and get creative!

Jenni Fischer is a mom of two, Wild Thing (her toddler) and Caterpillar (her 10 month-old), as well as an independent filmmaker who has taught filmmaking to youth and has run after-school programs through her company Generation Arts. The activities above feature her after-school program students. She writes about her experiences with Wild Thing and Caterpillar at The Good Long Road with an emphasis on mindfulness, imagination, and creative activities related to her toddler’s favorite children’s books.


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About Krissy Bonning-Gould

M.Ed Art Education - Blogger at B-Inspired Mama - Social Media Maven - Creative Mama of 3.

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