The boys love to paint, inside, outside…..anywhere. It’s one of their favorite things to do during quiet times. While we were in the garden picking beets and getting stains all over our hands, I thought how fun it would be if we could make our own paint. Finding non-toxic edible paint for infants and toddlers can be expensive, and I want to include our little man in our art experiences without the worry of what might end up in his mouth. Combining the process of making paint with the painting experience is a definite recipe for success. Mixing three of the boys favorite activities, paint, science experiments and gardening. We set up our work station in the garden, the boys were a part of every step.
Here’s how we did it in 5 easy steps,
One – pick your veggies of choice. Obviously vegetables with a darker pigment will yield a darker more vibrant color. We chose beets, carrots and swiss chard (just the leaves of the chard). The beets and chard worked wonderfully, the carrots needed more time to soak or would have benefited from being blended in a juicer.
Two – cut the veggies into small pieces, R used a peeler to slice thin pieces (adult supervision required). For a quicker process you could use a juicer or a food processor, but because I wanted to keep the experience outside we added a bit of water and started smashing, squeezing and mashing our veggies in small bowls. It worked well to rub the vegetables in our hands while adding small amounts of water.
Three – add water as needed until a desired consistency is made. We found not a lot of water was needed.
Four – remove any large chunks of vegetables, (eat if hungry 🙂 ).
Five (optional) – add corn starch if a thicker paint is desired. Add small amounts (1 tsp) until the paint reaches a consistency you like. We tried adding corn starch to the carrot juice and found it lightened the color, so much that it was hard to see on the canvas. We chose not to add corn starch to the other colors and used just the vegetable juice.
Both the boys enjoyed this art experience. R loved being able to help cut the vegetables, A drifted in and out of the making process as he was interested, but when it came time to paint he was all in. Be sure to keep the cut vegetables, both the boys enjoyed using the beets and carrots to paint with and cover their canvases. They also snacked on the vegetables as they were painting. 🙂
An overall success in making paints for the first time and we will do it again!