Straw-blown Watercolor Painting

the wide straw doesn't work

Oh, how I love an art project with unexpected results. We took your usual watercolor painting activity and added some straws to create this loopy, drippy beautiful mess. The fun was in trying to control the flow of paint with the droppers and straws, which was near impossible, but totally worth a try.

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Materials

  • Watercolor paper or card stock — we used 8.5 x 11 card stock from the office supply store
  • Liquid watercolors. We like to use Sax Concentrated Liquid Watercolors from Amazon. They’re washable and non-toxic.
  • Eye droppers or pipettes
  • Straws
  • Tray to hold the paper. This keeps the paint from blowing all over the table
  • Paper towels, sponge, or towels. Optional, but you won’t regret this insurance policy

Pull some watercolor paint into the dropper and then squeeze it on the paper.

Pick up a straw and start blowing. N tested a wide “milkshake” straw first, and this is what she thought about it…

Yeah, not so good.

She traded it in for a skinny straw and then turned into a straw-blowing paint machine. The skinny straw is the way to go (but I’d encourage you to try both and see what works for you, making it a true experiment!).

After about six straw paintings, my daughter got a brush and did some paint mixing experiments. Such a fun, easy, and not-too-messy way to spend an afternoon.

Have you tried straw painting?

Feel free to add a photo in the comments if you have! Or, give it a try and add your photo next time you stop by.

This post shared with It’s Playtime

Creative Challenge #5: Plastic Bottles

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Make something with Plastic Bottles

In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to raise a little awareness toward the enormous amounts of plastic bottles used around the world, coupled with some thoughts on recycling and upcycling those bottles into creative products. My family is hooked on bubbly water, and while the number of bottles we go through each week is staggering, each of these bottles gets recycled…and occasionally upcycled into art (our Recycled Sculpture project can be found here).

Sobering Statistics

The Challenge

Make something with plastic bottles! Have you cut the tops off to use them as funnels, added them to a marble run, used them as sand scoopers, or turned them into something surprising? The project should be executed by children, but adults are welcome to facilitate or collaborate if the mood strikes!

To join in

  • Use plastic bottles, along with any other materials of your choice.
  • Attach a link to your blog post, a YouTube video, or photo of the experiment along with a description of what you and/or your child/ren did in the comment section below.
  • There is no deadline for this project.

Inspiration

Instructions for adding an image file

  • Click on the “Choose File” button (below the “Submit” button)
  • Choose a JPEG file from your computer
  • Type in a description of your experiment into the comment text box
  • Click the “Submit Comment” button
  • Grab the Creative Challenge button and add it to your site, or copy this text into your HTML.
  • For more Creative Challengesclick here.

    How are you celebrating Earth Day?

Creative Experiment #4: Rubber Bands

rubber bands

Make something with Rubber bands. (Or binders, laggy bands, elastics, elastic band, lackey bands, and laggy bands…what do YOU call them?).

Rubber bands are generally used to hold objects together, but what else have you or your children used them for? Have you wrapped them around Easter eggs, cinched them together to make a paintbrush, added them to a catapult, used them to make tie dye, or glued them to wood to make a rubber stamp?

What can you do with rubber bands, or what HAVE you done with rubber bands? The project should be executed by children, but adults are welcome to facilitate or collaborate if the mood strikes!

To join in on the Experiment

  • Use rubber bands, along with any other materials of your choice.
  • Attach a link to your blog post, a YouTube video, or photo of the experiment along with a description of what you and/or your child/ren did in the comment section below.
  • There is no deadline for this project.

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some thoughts to get you started:

Instructions for adding an image file

  • Click on the “Choose File” button (below the “Submit” button)
  • Choose a JPEG file from your computer
  • Type in a description of your experiment into the comment text box
  • Click the “Submit Comment” button

For more Creative Experiments, click here.

Creative Experiment #3: Legos

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Make something with Legos.

Legos are great for building, but what else do you or your children use them for? Have they surprised you with a clever repurpose, used them for painting, or pretended they were play money? Or maybe they use them to build, and have really pushed the envelope of Lego possibility?!

What can you do with Legos, or what HAVE you done with Legos? The project should be executed by children, but adults are welcome to facilitate or collaborate if the mood strikes!

To join in on the Experiment

  • Use Legos, Mega Bloks, or similar toy, along with any other materials of your choice.
  • Attach a link to your blog post, a YouTube video, or photo of the experiment along with a description of what you and/or your child/ren did in the comment section below.
  • There is no deadline for this project.

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • Next time you’re painting, try stamping with Legos.
  • Show your children art by Lego artists Nathan Sawaya or Sean Kenney as inspiration.
  • As a provocation, give them Legos with another material like fabric, dollhouse dolls, blocks, or toy cars and see what they come up with.

Instructions for adding an image file

  • Click on the “Choose File” button (below the “Submit” button)
  • Choose a JPEG file from your computer
  • Type in a description of your experiment into the comment text box
  • Click the “Submit Comment” button

Happily shared with Science Sunday

Creative Experiment #2: Pasta

Pasta

Make something with pasta.

Pasta! It’s a multicultural food that can be found in everything from Pad Thai to Mac ‘n Cheese. Kids love to eat it. It’s got an amazing shelf life. And most of us already have it stockpiled in our pantries.

We eat a lot of it in our home, and it’s made an appearance in more than one art activity. For example: Drippy Gravity Painting

So now I ask you…what can you do with pasta? The project should be executed by children, but adults are welcome to facilitate or collaborate if the mood strikes!

To join in on the Experiment

  • Use pasta (noodles, macaroni, ramen…it’s up to you!), along with any other materials of your choice
  • Attach a photo of the experiment along with a description of what you and/or your child/ren did in the comment section below.
  • There is no deadline for this project.

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • Take the pasta outside, and make an installation in the dirt, sand, or sidewalk
  • Attach it to another object with a glue gun. Attach it to paper with white glue.
  • Dye it, sort it, print it, make patterns with it
  • Make a batch of fresh pasta
  • String it up like a necklace or bunting
  • As a provocation, put a variety of art materials in front of your child (i.e. pasta, markers, yarn, glue), and see what they come up with

Instructions for adding an image file

  1. Click on the “Choose File” button (below the “Submit” button)
  2. Choose a JPEG file from your computer
  3. Type in a description of your experiment into the comment text box
  4. Click the “Submit Comment” button

Creative Experiment #1: Toilet Paper Roll

Toilet Paper Roll

To mark the start of the new year, I’m starting a project called Creative Challenges. A new challenge will be introduced every month or so, and you are invited to join in on the fun. The project should be executed by children, but adults are welcome to facilitate or collaborate if the mood strikes! Okay, here we go…

Make something with a toilet paper roll.

We all have a few of these lying around (right?!), so why not have fun with them before they hit the recycling bin.

To join in on the Challenge

  • Use at least one toilet paper roll, along with any other materials of your choice
  • Attach a photo of the experiment along with a description of what you and/or your child/ren did in the comment section below.
  • There is no deadline for this project.

If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • As a provocation, put a variety of art materials in front of your child (i.e. markers, tape, yarn), and see what they come up with
  • Make an installation, using only toilet paper rolls, scissors, and string
  • Attach things to it with a glue gun
  • Decorate it to look like an object (person, animal, house, etc.)