After you read about this awesome outdoor activity from contributing writer Kim you will be saying just want I did when I first read it, “Why didn’t I think of that?” and “I am so going to do this like tomorrow!”
Now that the weather is great, we are outside all of the time. I am always looking for fun ways to learn and explore outdoors. But when we just play in the driveway, it can get a little boring after a while. So I tried this with the kids and it was a HUGE hit.
You need a bowl, corn starch, water, food coloring, a stick or spoon to stir, and a tennis ball.
Pour some cornstarch in the bowl and add water until it reaches the consistency you would like. I wanted it to about the same as milk. Add lots and lots of food coloring. When the “paint” dries it lightens up a lot.
Now roll your ball in the paint.
Then bounce the ball around. The kids got a kick out of the bounce marks the balls left behind.
I just stood back and watched them explore and experiment with the paint and the ball. My son rolled the ball across the driveway. They bounced the balls with varying forces and noticed a difference in the spots left behind.
Now this is a messy activity. The paint got on their clothes, but it washed out. I would strongly recommend wearing play clothes, just in case. The kid’s hands did turn bright blue. After a few washings, the color came off.
It was a great time and great for all ages (even big kids). My toddler got to learn and experiment with cause and effect. My preschooler learned about the reaction that different levels of forces put on the ball. We talked about the cornstarch dissolving in the water. We talked about the food coloring changing the paint. This activity was a wealth of scientific knowledge. The kids had so much fun with it, too.
The project soon evolved into dipping our hands in the paint and making handprints on the driveway and porch. My son poured out some paint into a puddle on the driveway and then rode his bike through it. He got a huge kick out of the different tracks that his bike vs. his big wheel made.
It was fun to watch my children explore possibilities and try out different ideas. I just sat back and let them learn. And they thought they were just playing.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.
Tanya M. says
Neat! Had a question — did this come off of your driveway easily afterwards? I always worry about staining clothes, skin,etc when use food coloring, so I tend to shy away from projects that use it.
HOLY Cannoli!!! Tomorrow? I’m going to the store in like 5 min to buy some cornstarch!! We are doing this TODAY! How much fun is this?
We are also having a playdate with friends tomorrow. If this is as big of a hit as I think it will be.. we will do this with them too! :o)
THANK YOU for sharing!!!
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How fun and simple!! I love the idea. This is something we are absolutely going to have to do.
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fun! i think i’ll let my son try it in his bathing suit, then he can run through the sprinkler and wash off!
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Tanya, you can just do it without the food coloring. It dries bright white without the food coloring. The chalk paint did wash off of the clothes and driveway very easily. It did stain the kids hands a little and it took a few washings to come off. Within 5 minutes, though, the kids hands were back to normal. I would recommend you just try this without the food coloring. It will still be a blast!
Need to invest in some cornstarch, for sure. I keep seeing fun activities with it. This looks like fun for my “big” girls!
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i agree – i need to get some cornstarch around here and have some fun! this looks really cool!
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We will totally have to try this. Believe it or not shaving cream gets food coloring out of anything! Next time just bring out a can of shaving cream to clean up hands and use it as a pre treatment on clothes. My son spilled a whole BOTTLE (not one of the drop kind) all over his clothes and shaving cream took it out!
We absolutely going to do this. Hopefully many times this summer. My daughter is fussy about things on her clothes, so I will probably send her outside naked to play with this. So much learning and so much fun.
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What a fun idea! Thanks so much for sharing it. 🙂
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What a great idea! Thanks!
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Michelle @ The Parent Vortex says
Wow, that looks like so much fun! I have a feeling my kids will LOVE this one – any excuse to make a mess is usually a big hit. 🙂 I am a bit stuck looking for things to do with a toddler and preschooler so the multi-age appeal is great.
I love this–thanks for a fabulous idea! This made two kids in Texas very happy this afternoon.