Painting with Straws in Preschool

Blown straw painting kids

Make gorgeous drips and swirling designs by painting with straws. This is a wonderful preschool art activity, but fun for all ages.

straw blown painting preschool

painting with straws preschool

Materials: Straw Blown Painting

  • Watercolor paper or card stock — we used 8.5 x 11 card stock from the office supply store. A heavier weight paper will do a good job absorbing the paint and water.
  • Liquid watercolors. We like to use Sax Concentrated Liquid Watercolors from Amazon. They’re washable and non-toxic.
  • Eye droppers or pipettes. If you don’t have a pipette, you can forage your medicine cabinet for a medicine dropper.
  • 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

squeeze paint onto paper

Blow Painting Steps

  1. Set up a tray with a heavy sheet of paper
  2. Place a few bowls filled with a bit of liquid watercolors nearby. Place a pipette in or next to the watercolors.
  3. Invite your child to draw watercolor paint into the dropper and then squeeze it on the paper.
  4. With a straw, blow the paint around the paper.

blow painting preschool


Experiments and Extensions

  • Once your child has had enough paint blowing, add a brush and invite him or her to paint
  • Test regular narrow straws against fat milkshake straws. Which works better? Our favorite was the fat straw.
  • After the paint blowings have dried, add another layer of paint blowings with different colors
  • Fold in half and turn your paintings into cards. See 40 Homemade Cards that Kids can Make for ideas.
  • Dip the end of a straw into tempera paint and then use it as a stamp. Watch Art Tips and Tricks: 5 Non-traditional Painting Tools to see this in action.

straw blown painting


  1. says

    i love that N used an analogous color palette for these paintings. keeps the results from getting muddy. N’s works of art are so lovely and what a fun process! we’ve only done the blown paint thing once two autumns ago to make trees — which is a timely application in the coming month’s too, so maybe we’ll do it again: — and i’ll try to add an image to my comment, too! :)

    • rachelle says

      Thanks for adding the art vocabulary bit, Jen :) I should have thought of that. I try to keep our palette tight when I can, but sometimes it’s impossible! I love the wind blown tree…perfect for fall and all the leaves that are currently shedding from our trees. Sniff sniff.

    • rachelle says

      You absolutely could do this with water and food coloring, and that’s where I’d start if I thought my child might suck the paint right up (it happened when my daughter was almost 2 1/2…how old is Jaycee?). Glad to find you on the Sit and Relax hop!

  2. says

    I’m not familiar with liquid watercolor paint. How does it come? Is it a powder that you mix with water or does it come in a bottle? Maybe a dumb question! : /