My son, like most young kids, loves to do activities that are hands-on. We have tackled a number of building activities from playing with Legos and Magnetic Tiles to Bristol Blocks.
When I realized that we had the opportunity to make our own 3-D paint, I became excited. However, my son had to sign off on the project. When he saw that we could make our own paint from scratch, he was all for it.
I like this activity because we had all the ingredients in the kitchen. Also, it was a great opportunity to practice writing and incorporate literacy in a fun way!
So let’s talk about our exciting scientific art experiment!
How to use this project to increase your child’s reading and writing skills
The project below will provide a fun and educational hands-on experience for kids. It is called the 3-D Puffy Paint Project and can encourage children to practice writing letters and numbers. This activity can be used to create stories and during pretend play. Additionally, constantly squeezing the paint out the bottle is a great hand strengthener to prepare kids for writing.
My son created a story while doing this project. The story was about a monster who played with friends. The monster started playing with one friend and then as time went on, the amount of friends grew exponentially. By the end of the story, the monster played with over 100 friends. We learned the words exponentially, introduce and exhausted, while doing this activity.
I exposed my son to new words by retelling the story. After my son told me the story, I said the following…
Me: So you are telling me that this story is about a monster who played with one friend at the playground. Then he kept meeting more and more friends as the day went on. This means his friends grew exponentially from 1 to over 100. Right?
My Son: Right
Me: As they were playing, he became very tired or exhausted. So how did he meet all those friends?
My Son: He went up to friends and said, “My name is Monster, do you want to play?”
Me: Oh, so the monster introduced himself to the new friends, and then asked them to play.
My son: “Yes, Yes, that’s right!”
Quick Tip: Use the new vocabulary as you are casually talking to your little one so they will internalize the information.
Another way to make this project literacy based is to have your child read the directions on this post while making the puffy paint. Encourage your child to sound out or say words that they know if they are beginning to read. If they can’t read yet, help them to use the pictures in this post to show how to make the paint. Your child will be reading because they are interpreting meaning. Additionally, read the instructions to them while following along with your finger so they see that words are needed in order to make the paint.
Now Let’s Make Paint that is 3-D!
2 Tablespoons Flour (30 ml)
2 Tablespoons Salt (30 ml)
2 Tablespoons Water (30 ml)
Mix flour, salt, and water in the bowl.
Add two drops of food coloring.
Pour mixture into the squeeze bottle.
Make a few colors by following the first three steps.
Squirt lines, curves, dots, and PICTURES on the cardboard.
Make this a fun literary activity by doing the following…
Paint or draw a picture and create a story about the image.
Have the child practice writing their name.
Have the child practice writing their letters or numbers.
One day while my three-year-old son played independently with toy cars, I was reading a book that contained over 400 pages. When I reached the end of a chapter, I inserted my bookmark to maintain my place.
My son saw the bookmark and asked me what it was. I told him that bookmarks tell me what section of the book I read previously. It is a timesaver because it prevents me from flipping through the book to find where I stopped reading.
He was amazed that this rectangular-shaped piece of paper could do so much. This was during the time we started reading books like Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White which is a chapter book.
Watch the Video below to Learn How to Accelerate Young Readers’ Skills with Art
We read other books in the past that needed a bookmark like 5-minute Bible Storiesretold by Mary Batchelor and Penny Boshoff. This book has a compilation of Bible stories for children. For some reason, we didn’t use a bookmark after reading the book. I just flipped through the pages and tried to remember the last story we read. This was not a good use of time.
This book showed us how to make a SIMPLE bookmark or book hook that looks like my son. We had a great time creating them! They are used daily after reading time. My son often tells me we should make more bookmarks.
This a great project to do with the child who won’t sit for an entire book. Try reading part of a book and save your place with their look alike book hook.
So Let’s Get Started with Creating!
How to Make the Book Hooks
Colored Paper or Card Stock Paper
Child Safety Scissors
Help your child draw themselves on colored paper with markers.
Draw the arms so that they are hanging low.
Color the drawing.
Cut out the drawing.
Cut the arms with slits
Hook your drawing to the top of a page.
Close the book and hold your place.
Have more fun with this activity by making a variety of book hooks like…
I love projects that inspire kids to be creative and to use their imagination. Art is the number one activity that requires kids to think outside the box and it encourages them to be themselves.
Art is also a great way to make reading fun and appealing to young kids. Children are naturally drawn to art so why not use it to learn other subjects such as reading and literacy? Reading is about interpreting meaning. We love it when kids make something and can interpret their masterpieces to others.
How to use this project to increase your child’s reading skills
The craft below will provide a fun and educational hands-on experience for kids. It is called The Wake-Up Puppet and can be used while reading a book, pretend play, or whatever else you can imagine. The puppet can be asleep and awake.
My son and I made two puppets and used them while we read numerous books. When it was my turn to read a page, my son’s puppet was sleeping. While my son read, he put his hand in the puppet so it was awake with open eyes.
We also used the puppet in a pretend play scenario with his PJ Masks action figures. Romeo, a villain, put my puppet to sleep with a magic potion. It was my son’s job, as Catboy (a character from PJ Masks), to get my puppet to wake up. He accomplished this by playing his toy drums loudly. We learned the words, snooze and drowsy while doing this activity.
Another way to make this project literacy based is to have your child read the directions while making the puppet. Encourage your child to sound out or say words that they know. If they can’t read yet, help them to use the pictures in this post to show how to make the puppet. Remember, your child will be reading because they are interpreting meaning. Additionally read the instructions to them while following along with your finger so they observe that words are needed in order to make the puppet.
So Let’s Get Started!
Child Safety Scissors
Paper lunch bag
Markers or crayons
Cut and paste closed-eye almond shapes from colored paper.
Paste the eye shapes on the bag. (View the picture below)
Cut and paste open-eye circular shapes from colored paper.
Paste them under the bag flap.
Cut a heart-shaped or circular nose from the colored paper.
Paste it on the bag.
Cut a C-shaped mouth from the colored paper.
Paste it on the bag.
Decorate the puppet with markers and crayons.
Put your hand inside the bag.
Close your hand for closed eyes.
Open your hand for open eyes.
Remember make this a fun literacy activity by doing the following…
Hold the puppet while you are reading to your child.
Make another puppet so you and your child can hold them while reading to each other.
Do a puppet show about a story you have previously read and change the ending.
Create your own story and make puppets of various characters.