After School Kid Crafts: Quick DIY Watercolors

homemade watercolors

I started a new series last year where we share fun, messy, science and art based activities for school aged kids after school. Our elementary school does not have a designated art class or teacher (other than a program run by parent volunteers) so I feel obligated to expose Henry to a lot of art at home and in after school programs. Today we’re making homemade watercolors! I’m partnering with all free clear laundry detergent which is specifically designed for children’s sensitive skin, free from allergents and irritants so you can let kids can be kids and not worry about them getting too messy. Keep reading to read more about how we made these pretty watercolors for this fun after school kid project…

homemade watercolors

Supplies: Cornstarch, baking soda, corn syrup, vinegar, food coloring, ice cube tray (or mini muffin tin).

homemade watercolors

Step 1 : Put 1 cup of baking soda in a bowl and pour in 3/4 cup of vinegar. Kids will love watching the bubbles!

Step 2: Once the bubbling subsides,  mix in 2 T of corn syrup and 1 cup of cornstarch. Whisk until well combined.

homemade watercolors

Step 3: Add a very small amount of food coloring to each and gently stir with a popsicle stick. You can use any color combinations you want. I let Henry and his friend Vivianne each do their own row of colors. It’s a great opportunity to talk about mixing colors, tones and hues.


homemade watercolors

Step 4: Now, you can either let them dry for a couple days somewhere safe or freeze them for a couple hours for a quicker project. Drying them out is better but Henry and Vivianne were anxious to paint with them so I stuck them in the freezer. I let a set dry as well and they turned out better.

homemade watercolors

Things got a little wild with the project but that’s okay! I just popped their clothes into the laundry with all free and clear detergent for a quick cleanup afterwards. Did you know that all free clear is the #1-recommended laundry detergent by pediatricians, dermatologists, and allergists? I know a lot of women that switched to using it when they had their first child because of this. I remember our doctor recommending it as well.


homemade watercolors

Hooray for messy kid projects!

This post is sponsored by all free clear laundry products. And if you would, here’s a simple one question survey to fill out for them.

Photography by Liz Stanley


I love all free clear! We started using it because my boyfriend is allergic to perfumes – he would sneeze constantly if I used any scented detergent. I now also use it to wash my baby blankets (that I make and sell) before sending them off to their new homes. It’s reassuring to know it’s sensitive to new baby skin. Thanks for yet another great sponsored post!!

I had no idea watercolor paints were so easy to make. Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to try them out this weekend with our daughter.

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