Microwave Puffy Paint

Who wouldn’t love a good experiment that combines mixing flour + watercolor paint, and zapping it into puffy magic in the microwave?

When I saw this inspiring post by Rashmie at Mommy Labs, who in turn was inspired by Tammy over at Housing in a Forest, I knew it was something that my 3.5 year old experimenter would love to try.

We mixed a batch of puffy paint from water, flour, baking soda, salt, and liquid watercolors. See Rashmie’s post for all the deets.

I poured the mixtures into these awesome Nancy Bottles from Discount School Supply.

And N made some cool designs on cut-up manilla file folders.

We zapped them in the microwave and they came out looking like this. I think my ratio must have been a little off because the texture isn’t as puffy and beautiful and those over at Mommy Labs, but my 3-year old was ENAMORED by the process and kept making them until we ran out of paint.

What a fun way to spend an afternoon. Thanks, Rashmie!

Comments

    • Rachelle says

      Of course, Greg! The aesthetic bit was just for me and my 3 year old didn’t have one speck of trouble enjoying everything about the magic of this project. And no worries about the typos — it happens to me ALL the time. Our fingers move faster than our minds :)

  1. Putti Prapancha says

    Rachelle, try doing this with ‘Self Raising Flour’  (which is nothing but ALP+soda+salt premixed !!!) . All you have to do is add water and colors and it puffs up like magic:))
    Btw, love the blue n green combo!!

  2. Putti Prapancha says

    Rachelle, try doing this with ‘Self Raising Flour’  (which is nothing but ALP+soda+salt premixed !!!) . All you have to do is add water and colors and it puffs up like magic:))
    Btw, love the blue n green combo!!

  3. says

    This would lead to some great conversation in the classroom!  It would be a beautiful display on the wall, a great idea to give to parents to do at home, and a fantastic partner activity to get children working cooperatively.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    Rachelle,
    So glad you guys tried this and your daughter had so much fun! Who wouldn’t! I love this technique and the joy of watching the paint rise and rise and shine! Thank you for the link-love and the glorious mention :)
    That first pic with the blue green textures reminds me of an ocean. Love those colours.
    It’s beautiful indeed. Seeing yours, I’m so itching to do this all over again.
    And hey – we also tried marbling with the same recipe. You may check here:
    http://www.mommy-labs.com/creative-kids/art_craft_projects_kids/marbling-with-puffy-paint-oh-so-open-ended-art-for-kids/

  5. Jbozza3 says

    how long did you microwave them for?  I’ve made puffy paint with shaving cream and glue before, sometimes it comes out great, others it falls flat.  I’ve never tried the water, flour, baking soda and salt before.

  6. NotMyReal Name says

    Thanks so much for specifying where you got the bottles from! We tried this a while ago with icing bags, and the kids enjoyed it, but the bags were hard for them to manage and oooooooooooooh my goodness, the mess. I’ve been looking for squeezy bottles ever since, but hadn’t found any that were easy enough for little hands to squeeze properly. 

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