Messy Painting Two Ways: Kool-Aid and Food Color

Kool Aid Paint with Clean Up (3)

Sometimes, it feels good to have a day devoted to getting messy. To wit, Veronika played with bright bold “paint” colors in two ways today. Luckily, the second way has a built-in cleaning component, so be sure to save it for last!

For the first version, I set out a tray lined with thick white paper and added a few ice cubes. Sprinkle on packets of powdered Kool-Aid.

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As soon as the ice begins to melt, the “paint” is magically revealed. We played in a bright sunny spot by our patio door so the sun helped the ice melt much faster.

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Veronika loved seeing the color appear. “It’s paint!” she said. She even got to observe some neat color mixing, since we started with a yellow powder and a red one, but pretty soon everything was shades of orange.

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She decided the ice cubes were much too cold to touch with her hands though, so I gave her two plastic spoons. Truth be told, she then lost interest in the paint and was far more intent on chasing around the ice with the spoons.

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It turned out that she was very skilled at picking a cube up on one spoon and transferring it to the other without it falling. Impressive!

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Once the ice had melted, we had a vivid painting to display.

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Time to move on to a second way to “paint” with bright, bold colors! I filled recycled baby food jars with a little dish soap and a few drops of food coloring, choosing blue and red, and we headed upstairs to the shower.

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At first she was just delighted to be sitting in mommy’s shower. Then she saw the little paint pots. We still had the two plastic spoons, and she liked dipping in the spoons and dribbling out some of the color.

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Then she wanted to dump the whole jar!

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It was a second chance for color mixing; now our blue and red made purple.

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She as hesitant at first, but soon was mushing her hands right in the dish soap mixture.

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Her fingers made the most delightful squishy noise when she clasped her hands together. She loved running her fingers through the mess all over the shower floor.

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And now here’s the bonus to this activity: You might think the dark food coloring will stain, but because it was mixed with dish soap, it washes off like a dream… From kids’ hands and shower floors equally!

You might even have a cleaner shower as a result. Not to mention a very happy kid.

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