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

Bubble Painting

Bubble Paintings

“There are no failures, just experiences and your reactions to them.”

Tom Krause, Author and Motivational Speaker

What follows is my pitch for attempting the unknown for the sake of having a new experience, and maybe the end result will match your expectations. Or not. Either way, you’ve tried something new.

Aren’t these pretty? These are the result of a moderately failed experiment in bubble painting. The failure isn’t evident, is it?

I started with a mixture of tempera paint (red with a little silver), dish soap, and a little bit of water to make it runny.

Whole Foods dish soap is apparently great for dishes, but truly terrible for making good suds. If you’re up for this project, Dawn or Joy are most likely the way to go for a bowl full of bubbles. Mine fell flat. I’ll try this again for sure, and will be sure to share the winning recipe. That was the first failure, but here comes one that’s even bigger.

Can you guess what happened here? We poured the mixture into a little bowl, and then after a little demonstration, I instructed my daughter to blow. Out. Don’t suck it in. It’s not a drink. Don’t forget to blow OUT.

“Oh no, is that red paint all over your FACE?” I’m the worst mom ever! Wash it out. Check the bottle. Phew, it’s non-toxic. Ack!

She did great for the first five minutes of blowing, but then just forgot what she was doing. Totally understandable. She’s only two, after all. And sometimes I forget that.

MaryAnn Kohl has a good suggestion in Preschool Art, which I wish I had read beforehand: Pierce a hole near the top of the straw to keep your child from sucking paint into their mouth.

After that short, freaky interlude, we resumed Project Bubble Paint. From this point forward, I was responsible for blowing bubbles.

And they make for delightful gift tags, don’t you think?

Do you have a good bubble paint recipe?