Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Corn Starch Paints

Corn starch paints are a cheap, safe, and edible (though not tasty) alternative to store-bought washable or non-toxic paints. I tried using corn starch paints with Baby Bear a couple of months ago, but he wasn't too keen on a paint that didn't taste as good as the pudding paints. He also seemed to have a texture issue with the cornstarch. However, when I volunteered to host a Messy Party for my mom's group, I thought these paints might go over well with the preschool crowd. They did!

I did not make the paints ahead of time, but instead, I had the kids help me make them. T helped measure and D helped stir. I did the hot water part. Once the paint was all mixed, I added a couple of spoonfuls to each of 7 different little 4oz tupperware containers. The kids told me what colors they wanted in their cups, I added the food coloring, and they stirred it up. Another mom helped make other colors in the extra cups.

I also provided different mediums for the kids to use to create their paintings besides their fingers. These are some of the tools the kids used:
  • Legos
  • Plastic forks
  • Cooked spaghetti (this one was popular!)
  • Q-tips
  • Cookie cutters
  • Foam stencils
  • Bobbins
  • Sea sponges
 These tools left great patterns and textures in the gloopy paints! The kids had fun painting their pictures, and one little boy also decided to paint his stomach! No harm done, though. :)

J's painting

The next time I use these paints, I will limit the number of mediums used to one or two. I think this will allow the kids to be even more creative because they will not have the distraction of all those tools to choose from.

This is the recipe I used:
  1. Mix 1 cup corn starch with 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon cold water. This will be hard to stir, but make sure all the corn starch is wet.
  2. Add 2 to 2 1/4 cups nearly boiling water (think small bubbles) and stir until smooth. Consistency will be gloopy.
  3. Allow to cool for just a few minutes so it is safe for the kids to handle.
  4. Spoon white paint into different containers (one for each color you want to make).
  5. Add 3-5 drops food coloring to each container to make desired colors.
Idea credit: The Imagination Tree

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