Puffy Paint – sensory and therapeutic for the old and young

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We celebrate Youth day today. This morning, we made a trip to ION art gallery and was inspired by artworks done by a Fengshui grandmaster Tan Khoon Yong. His art pieces were a mixed of very colorful pieces as well as black and white ones. What stood out to the kids were that his pieces were textural. Some of them looked really 3-D.

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That afternoon, I set up the following ingredients and decided to make puffy paint for the kids to explore and create their art pieces. The kids measured out the ingredients, poured and mixed them up then added the colors. I helped them to transfer the mixture into little squeeze bottles and the remaining paint were put into ziplock bags for them to pipe out the mixture.

4 tablespoons self-rising flour
4 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon water (slowly adding until you get the texture of a batter)
food coloring of your choice

Add all the ingredients into a jar and mix until smooth.
Pour into tins if brushing, squeeze bottles or little ziplock bags for piping.

The kids started with piping the colors onto cardstock paper and were thrilled to see the bright colors and moved on to squeezing the paint out from the bottles.

We tried out on different paper and the kids including daddy had a great time working on it. As we do not own a microwave, we used our oven to warm up after the artwork was done so that it would dry up. We set the oven to 90 degree celcius and depending on the thickness of the paint on the paper, it takes between 2 minutes to 4 minutes.

We had some left over paint, Luke decided to use the spoon to scoop the paint and he would bring the spoon high to see the paint drip onto the paper. He was fascinated by the how fast the mixture would drip as some of our mixture were more viscous than others (we had some accidents while mixing and so we spilled before completing the mixture).

The end product is very textural for a child. One idea would be to create your child’s name and when the paint is dry, he or she can trace his name on the puffy paint. My daughter enjoyed seeing the different colors create a marbling effect and also the drips and she says it’s like rain.

The activity can be messy and I suggest having a large place mat to cover your table so that it’s easy to wash out when the activity is done. If you notice, Luke is kind of uncovered. He had tipped the jar while mixing and we decided it’s okay to go undressed and so was he.

Overall, everyone had a wonderful and enjoyable time; we took about an hour and a half from start to end. We would have continued on for at least another 30 minutes or so but it was dinner time. We will definitely do this another day and perhaps, try it as a mixed media style. I can’t wait till next time.


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