Writing letters and numbers is a skill that many parents and teachers ensure their children possess. My son wrote his first letter, A, at 21 months. He revealed it to me through abstract artwork that left me in shock.
Now he is four-years-old and his writing has improved tremendously. However, I like to find ways to make writing appealing and fun for him. One way to do this is through making our household, when possible, our writing canvas. This means writing in the tub with bath time crayons or writing on our screen door with window markers.
Today I will show you how we used household ingredients to write and create art. The project is called Pan Frescoes. Frescoes is painting with watercolor on wet plaster on a wall or ceiling.
In this project, we make our wet plaster with cornstarch and water! Instead of painting on a wall or ceiling, we will do it in a pan. You may also choose to do this outside on concrete. Just remember to rinse it with a water hose when done.
Let’s Get Started!
- 16 oz (2 cups or 454 g) cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- Aluminum Tray
- Various colors of food coloring
- Various size paintbrushes
- Paper Plate
- Cups (optional)
- Mix together the cornstarch and water with your hands in the tray.
- The mixture will resemble glue or slime.
- Give your child time to play with the mixture.
- After your child has played with the mixture, have them flattened it out in the tray.
- Let the mixture sit for 5 or 10 minutes before you begin painting on it.
- While the mixture is sitting, get the plate and food coloring.
- Have your child put drops of food coloring on a plate or in individual cups.
- Use the paintbrushes to write letters and numbers or to create art.
- Watch the video below of my son creating art.
Let’s have more fun! Here is the science behind why this works.
- The cornstarch and water mixture acts more like a solid than a liquid.
- The food coloring, which is a water-based pigment, is absorbed into the cornstarch mixture.
- The food coloring doesn’t travel far since the cornstarch mixture is so thick.
- This is why you can do artwork on the mixture.
Our books are available on Amazon, “Teach Your Toddler to Read Through Play,” “Fun Easy Ways to Teach Your Toddler to Write, and “Teach Your Child About Money Through Play.“