One of S's very favorite activities is Microwave Puffy Paint. In the past, we've talked about Which Microwave Puffy Paint Recipe is the Best and we did Fall Scented Microwave Puffy Paints a few months ago - so S was naturally interested in making a Spring version.
I must admit, Microwave Puffy Paint is pretty fun for grown-ups, too. :)
Since Valentine's Day is coming up, I cut a few heart shapes out for S to choose from. Though you can use any thick paper (cardstock works well), we prefer using the backs of cereal boxes because they're free. :) Doesn't this heart by S look like spin art?
And she made mama a flower. I think it looks like a tulip, but I am told that I am very wrong and it is obviously a rose. :)
And then S made some crazy abstract art. The layers and colors stay very distinct, so it makes for a really neat paint.
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Working on the "spin art" heart. Using this paint with squeeze bottles is great exercise for those fine motor muscles!
Ready to make your own? You'll need
Food Coloring or Liquid Watercolors
Cardstock/cardboard/backs of cereal boxes
Though we'd intended to make rose scented paint, I forgot to pick up some rose essential oil at the store and was too lazy to go back, so we just used lavender essential oil for both our pink and yellow paints. We decided with Valentine's Day coming up we'd make a chocolate scent as well and that was the scent of our green paint.
I find that 1 cup of flour makes enough paint for one child to use in one sitting. Add desired amount of flour to a bowl and add one pinch of salt. Add roughly the same amount of water as flour (if you have a young toddler who may tire of squeezing, err on the side of a bit more water - it's easier to squeeze if the paint is thinner). Whisk, whisk, whisk! You really need to be sure to get all those lumps out as they will clog your squeeze bottles. I sometimes whisk for a minute, then let it sit for a minute or two and come back and finish out the whisking. Divide the batter into three (or however many!) portions and add color and scent to each. 1-2 drops of essential oil (Rose essential oil, lavender essential oil, or another floral essential oil) per color will give a nice strong floral scent. We found that 1/2 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder gave enough scent without making the paint irrevocably brown (though our green was much darker as a result of the cocoa powder). Alternately you could add several drops of chocolate extract. The paint should probably be used up in one sitting, though you could try refrigerating it for a few hours if you're willing to whisk/thin it accordingly.
Once you're done painting, place your creation in a microwave for 15-45 seconds (depending on the thickness of the paint) and watch it puff up!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out the rest of our Valentine's Day posts here!
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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.