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.

This made me realize that the artwork he created previously such as finger painting art and scribbling, set a precedent for his writing skills.

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!



  • Mix together the cornstarch and water with your hands in the tray.
2 Cups of Cornstarch
  • The mixture will resemble glue or slime.
  • Give your child time to play with the mixture.
Playing 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.
My son putting food coloring drops on a plate.
  • 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.

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18 thoughts on “Make Writing Fun for Kids with Household Ingredients

  1. What a fun activity for kids to learn how to write! And with ingredients you’ll easily already have at home! Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thank you Kay for your comment and compliment. Yes I love doing projects with ingredients we already have.

  2. These are great ideas! I’m an Occupational Therapist with sensory issues (imagine that) and tend to shy away from messy projects 🙁 This is a great reminder for me to get over it and get adventureous.

  3. I love these ideas! I remember when our twins were younger & would write on the walls! I’m sharing this post with a friend who has younger children, she’ll need it!😉😂

  4. I am so amazed of how creative you can get! I bet my 3-year old would love the idea of learning how to write because of the fun that he could experience doing this. It’s safe too as you are just using household ingredients! Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Thank you for the compliment Donna! I hope your 3-year-old enjoys this project. My son had a great time with it.

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