If only monitors were scratch and sniff. Sigh.
We first began making sidewalk paint about 2 years ago when my friend Emily told us about it. The general recipe is to use food coloring mixed with half cornstarchand half water. It's a pretty forgiving recipe, so I've always eyeballed it. The sidewalk paint below was made with gel food coloring:
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While that recipe works quite well, I wanted to spice it up a bit. I wondered if I added Kool Aidin lieu of food coloring - would we be able to smell the delicious scents?
The answer - TOTALLY. And it smells AWESOME. You know how when you're standing next to a blooming rose in summer, the air smells so sweet? Well this was like that, only with the yummy fruity smells of Kool Aid!!!! Our whole driveway smelled utterly delicious.
Another thing that has always plagued me about sidewalk paint is that it is really challenging to "paint" with. You have to dip your paintbrush over and over and over and it can get a little frustrating. A lot only goes a little way. We've tried regular paintbrushes, chubby paintbrushes, foam paintbrushes...and none were that easy. So S and I put our heads together and came up with the idea to do drizzle art using spoons!
I like the designs the sidewalk paint makes when it's not super runny, so instead of following the 1:1 ratio, I add slightly more cornstarchthan water (thin enough that it runs off a spoon easily, but not so thin that you can see through it - if that makes sense).
We had so much fun dripping, drizzling, mixing, and SMELLING the awesome paints.
How cool is this? And it smells just like an orange!
About halfway through our creating, little X woke up and wanted to join in. The sidewalk paint is totally edible, so it is safe for even the little guys. X doesn't usually try to taste these things anymore, but just to be safe, I prefer to use edible paints with him still (if you have a little one, we also have recipes for Natural Dye Edible Fingerpaints and Scented Edible Fingerpaints that we think are awesome).
X really enjoyed the bright colors and the texture of the paint.
He even mimicked his big sis and tried to drizzle a bit with a spoon. I loved that X could participate in our art since he is still too little to effectively color with the Homemade Custom Shaped Sidewalk Chalk we made the other day.
They had a great time! And the paint is really easy to clean off. As it dries it just crumbles, so I generally brush it off over a sink and rinse their skin. Super easy despite appearances. We have also never had trouble with staining, though we wash clothes immediately afterwards.
As a driveway staining test, I left the paint for two days before rinsing it with a hose. This is what it looked like once it was dry. I can make out some pink, I think, but it is now not noticeable at all (a few weeks later) on our driveway. However, I cannot guarantee that it will not stain your driveway or sidewalk, so if you are worried, best to not use something like this.
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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.