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If you've spent any time nosing around my site, you've probably noticed that I am slightly...OK, maybe more than slightly...obsessed with Liquid Watercolors.  Since Liquid Watercolors are not an art supply you typically encounter, and definitely not one that you typically see on a list of kid's art supplies - I figured it would be a good idea to write a post all about what Liquid Watercolors are, how we use them, and also provide some ideas for different brands of Liquid Watercolors and where you can find some of your own!


So what are they and why do I find them SO amazing?



First off, they are a fabulous substitute for food coloring.  They are WASHABLE, they are more vibrant, they are easier to use.  Not to mention, unless you get some sort of crazy deal on your food coloring - they are also cheaper!  It used to take me at least a whole pack of food coloring to make a batch of rainbow rice.  I barely put a dent in our liquid watercolors doing the same thing.  So while the initial investment is more than a box of food coloring - ultimately this will save you money if you add color to your sensory plays and projects.

We use Liquid Watercolors in our recipe for Rainbow Soap Foam

Next, they are gorgeous GORGEOUS watercolors.  We used to use the regular colored disc watercolors, but they get mucky quickly and it's also hard to find a brand that produces bright vibrant colors.  Now when S wants to paint with watercolors, I squirt a little of each color she wants into a ice tray or into some plastic cups (depending on the project).  It's much easier and less messy and the results are phenomenal.

Our Black Glue Paintings (the blue and green water was done with Liquid Watercolors)

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Now let's talk brands.  There are several options here:

First up is Discount School Supply.  Their Colorations Liquid Watercolors are only available through their site and only available in the US.  They have lots of options and lots of color choices.  If you'd like to get a starter set, you could either get all the color of the rainbow in individual Colorations Liquid Watercolor Paint 8 oz. bottles or you could get their set of 8 Colorations Tropical Colors Liquid Watercolors.  We have all of them, and love them all - though the colors in the tropical set are pretty amazing, so that might be my recommendation.
Oh and if you go with Colorations Liquid Watercolors - they can also be used to make your own stamp pads or refill their rainbow stamp pad - how amazing is that?  (We have the giant rainbow stamp pad and love it).


Next up is Sax Brand Liquid Watercolors.  We have a set of these and they are also amazing.  Sax is available through Amazon and also available in Canada through School Specialty.  Via Amazon you can buy Sax Liquid Watercolors by the bottle, or in an intro set of 10 bottles.

Next up are Blick Liquid Watercolors.  Though I haven't personally used these, they are highly rated everywhere I checked on the internet, so I feel fine mentioning them here.  They are available in Blick Art Stores to my knowledge, so if you happen to have one of those in town, you could actually get some in a store (they are wicked hard to track down in stores for some reason!).  You can also order a starter set of Blick Liquid Watercolors via Amazon .



Finally we have Color Splash Liquid Watercolors.  Again, I have not tried these, but they are highly rated everywhere I found them on the internet.  They also have the added advantage of coming in a teeny little one ounce set and being available to my UK readers via Amazon.


So there you have it!  Liquid watercolors = full of awesome.  I really do think we spend so much less on coloring things because food coloring is pricey and we use SO much of it to get great color.  Conversely an 8 ounce bottle of liquid watercolors lasts nearly an entire year for us.  And we color things all.  the.  time.  And you just can't beat washable color.  Trust me.

In Canada and looking for liquid watercolors?  Our readers recommend this shop.
In Australia and looking for liquid watercolors?  Our readers recommend this shop.

Curious about all the ways you can use liquid watercolors?
Click here to be taken to a list of all the projects we've used them in!!!

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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.

Comments

  1. I get my Colorations Liquid Watercolors from Discount School Supplies and they are truely the best thing on the market. It really is like painting with vibrant electric colors. They also have gold & silver liquid watercolors. PJ

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    1. Totally a great description of them, PJ! They are so so so beautiful, right??!!! Yes, we just got the gold and silver recently and they are amazing as well!

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  2. Great post! I had no idea you could use them for stamp pads. Great idea! Discount School Supplies is the best!

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    1. Isn't that so awesome!??! Most washable stamp ink ever. They totally are!!!!

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  3. Ooooh I want those stamp pads...we are newly stamp obsessed! It is so expensive to be your blogging buddy, hahaha! Thanks for the info- we love our Colorations liquid watercolors!

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    1. Yes, they are the beeessst! We have the giant rainbow one, and it has yet to dry out. It's like magic. And sorry to cost ya, but now your art is even prettier!!!!! ;)

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  4. Thank you for sharing! Appreciate it!

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    1. No problem! I could talk about liquid watercolors all day (and sometimes I do!). :)

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  5. Are these safe to use for the edible projects like slime and water beads or do they need to be done with food coloring?

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    1. Though they are non-toxic, they are not edible. So yes, for edible projects (those you need to be edible), I recommend using food coloring or leaving them uncolored. I like using the edible recipes with my kiddos even though they don't taste anymore because I like that there aren't any chemicals, etc. So we use liquid watercolors - but that's only because I know none of it will make it into my kids' mouths. Hope that helps! :)

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  6. I use these to refill my bingo dabbers as well! Kids love those also;)

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    1. Oh, brilliant! I hadn't thought of that!

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  7. Do they stain hands like food coloring can?

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    1. Yes and no. Some colors don't at all. Some do (most notably the red/purple variety), but they wash off MUCH faster than food coloring. Usually after a long handwashing it's nearly all gone and after a subsequent handwashing I can't see it at all.

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  8. Hi there,
    I'd love to try these, but I'm having trouble purchasing them as I can't find anyone who will ship to Australia.... Do you know where I can source these?
    Thanks in advance :)

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    1. Argh! It makes me so sad that these are so hard to find outside the US! The person to ask is Kate Gribble of An Everyday Story blog. She's an Aussie and I know she found them through a local store, but I can't remember where. If you ask her on her blog, she'll set you up!!! Hope that helps!

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    2. Try Riot they have them on special this week

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    3. Awesome! It looks like Riot has an "Art Star" brand and I also see the DSS brand we use at Educational Experience (www.edex.com.au).

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  9. Any issues with staining when you use them in the tub? Thinking of adding a drop to my homemade bar soap...

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    1. Ooh great idea!!!! No you shouldn't have any trouble. The only problem I've ever had is temporary staining of white grout when I get concentrated liquid watercolors there. Hope that helps!

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  10. In my local Toronto art stores, I have found this:
    http://www.handyart.com/washable-watercolors.php
    Can anyone offer any input on what this product is like? Thanks!

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    1. Those look totally legit Megan! Let me know if you try them and like them and I'll add the link for Canadian readers. :)

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  11. Your colors are so bright! I still use food coloring (icing colors) but I might buy some liquid watercolors. Thanks for all your great ideas!

    Ilinca from GrumpyDumpling

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    1. Thank you Ilinca! You will love the liquid watercolors!!! :)

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  12. Hi Asia,
    I'm currently hunting for liquid watercolours (inspired by this and a few other blogs, I just 'must' have them). I've found the brand, Sargent on Amazon with shipping to Australia. It recommended by a few other sites. Do you have any experience with it? Or thoughts on how it compares with Colorations?
    Claire

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    1. Hi Claire! Hooray! Yes, one of my friends uses and raves about Sargent. I just want to put out there though, that I know my friend Kate (An Everyday Story) has access to liquid watercolors locally and she's in Australia. It might be worth checking with her to find out where she's getting them before paying for shipping from Amazon (not sure which path would be the cheapest). Hope that helps! :) :) :)

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    2. Thanks Asia,
      I have found a local supplier for Colorations (I'm not sure where they are physically but they delivery to all of Australia) and so I'm weighing up which is more economical - the Sargent from Amazon where I can get a set and add a few metallic colours in one shipment; or individual bottles from the local supplier. This is why I ask about the benefits of each. I'm happy to wait on an amazon delivery if the good are ... well, good or significantly better than I could get here. And vice versa, to pay more for the local ones and have only a small collection of colours.

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    3. My friend (who writes at Two-daloo.com) used both kinds and loved them both. I think you're probably safe with either, so I'd let cost be the deciding factor if it were me. :) So excited you were able to find a way to get them! :) :) :)

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    4. Agreed!! With a slight influence of website usability - the Aussie site empties my cart every time the screen refreshes. It's very frustrating. For Aussie who are looking though, the site is: edex.com.au. They seem to have a really big range of art, craft and play supplies

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    5. Perfect! Thank you for the link -- adding it to the post now! :)

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    6. As another local update, I found a brand called 'art star' in the craft store, Riot, last week. They are marketed specially as a kids product. I tried them to colour rice this afternoon and I have to say the result is disappointing. I got a much more vibrant effect (on rice, using less volume) using food colouring last week.

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    7. Oh no!!! That's so disappointing. :( :( :( That will not happen with the Sargent or the Colorations! :)

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  13. Hi Asia, I live in France and I have just ordered your book "150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids" by Amazon.
    So I am trying to get these liquid watercolors in France and I don't find them :-(
    Do you have any idea where I can find them? Or what could be the best alterntive? Food coloring?
    Thanks in advance!

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    1. Hi Alvaro! Thank you so much for ordering one of my books! :) :) :) Unfortunately liquid watercolors are only common in the US and Canada -- and I don't know of any sources in France. :( In the book there's a recipe for how to make a substitute using food coloring and another recipe for how to make a substitute using natural dyes from food. I'd probably use one of those if I were you since shipping liquids internationally is sooooo crazy expensive.

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  14. Which brands have you experienced as washable? When I read reviews they say they aren't so I am nervous to use as spray paint/driveway activities with my 3 year old. Thank you!

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    1. Driveways can be tricky in general -- so if you are worried, I wouldn't use ANY colors - even chalk can stain some of them. But as for other things -- the Discount School Supply and Sax have never stained anything for us. Hope that helps! :)

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