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How to make homemade art materials for the kids

When you and the children have cabin fever or the rain keeps you indoors, try making your own art supplies in the kitchen. The kids will love the diversity and will learn educational skills as well.

Kids can make cottonball flowers with ingredients in the kitchen.
Tania Cowling

Art is natural for children because they love everything about creating and expressing themselves. The knowledge of "kitchen art" can be valuable for parents and caregivers so they can nurture a child's creativity. It does not have to be difficult or expensive to be fun.

There are many items in the kitchen that can be transformed into exciting paints, glues and clays that children will love. One valuable thing about "kitchen art" is a reminder that the process is much more important than the end product. For children, it is the joy of the experience that must be focused on.

Did you ever think of adding cooking extracts to the homemade play dough and paints? Try adding just a few drops of lemon, orange, peppermint or vanilla extract to your next mixture. It is like having aromatherapy while you and your child are creating art.

Below are a few recipes and ideas to whip up in your own cozy kitchen:

Play Dough (cooked version)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water

Mix and cook these ingredients in a pot on low temperature until a ball forms. Add food coloring or cooking extracts if you wish. Cool. Take the dough out and knead it until pliable. Store in an airtight container.

Play Dough (non-cooked version)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Food coloring (optional)

Mix the above ingredients in a bowl. Knead to work in the color and remove the bumps. Store this in an airtight container when not in use.

Glue Painting

  • White school glue
  • Food colors
  • Containers to mix paint
  • Paintbrushes or cotton swabs
  • Paper

Mix the white glue with food coloring in a container. On paper, brush on the glue paint creating a picture or design. Experiment mixing colors. When the paint dries, it will be shiny like stained glass. For a variation, try painting on heavy-duty aluminum foil.


  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Cookie tray

Mix the cornstarch with the water and optional coloring. Pour the mixture onto a tray. With your hands, experience and enjoy the unique properties of this 'goop'. It's a sensual exploration!

Cotton Ball Creations

  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 to 1 cup water
  • Bag of cotton balls
  • Cookie sheet

Mix the flour and water in a bowl until you have a smooth paste. Coat the cotton balls in this mixture. Handle them gently and do not squeeze them flat. Take the balls and form desired shapes placing them onto the cookie sheet (the balls must touch each other). Bake at 325 degrees F. for about one hour or until lightly browned and hard. When cool, children can paint these creations with poster paints.

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