Microwave DIY puffy paint combines art and science for kids. Made of 3 simple kitchen ingredients, this paint puffs up in the microwave.
If you haven’t tried microwave puffy paint with your kids yet, you must.
It’s so easy. So fun. You just might be hooked.
I know your kids will be.
My five year old spent nearly two hours making puffy painting after puffy painting, and then exploring ways to print with the puffy paint.
The next day she did it all over again with a houseful of kids who were all extremely enthusiastic about this art project.
All you need are a microwave and 3 simple ingredients. Ready?
DIY Puffy Paint for Kids
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup water
- Food coloring or liquid watercolor paint
Oh, wait, that was four ingredients. I guess I wasn’t including the water in my head count.
1. First, whisk together flour, salt, and water in a medium bowl. Whisk really, really well so that the mixture is smooth and clump free (otherwise your kiddo may have trouble squeezing the paint).
2. Next, divide your flour mixture between 3-4 cups or small bowls (however many different colors you want to make) and add food coloring or liquid watercolors to each. Mix.
3. Finally, transfer your new puffy paint mixture into squeeze bottles. We used these squeeze bottles and thought they were pretty much perfect for this activity, but you could also find squeeze bottles at the grocery store or dollar store (ketchup and mustard bottles work well) or just use a plastic baggie with the tip cut off.
Microwave Puffy Paint in Action
- Puffy paint in squeeze bottles(see recipe above)
- Tagboard or thick paper (we used a mix of paper plates and cereal box cardboard)
1. Squeeze the puffy paint onto your paper/cardboard to create designs, images, or patterns as desired.
2. Place puffy paint art in microwave and microwave on high for about 30 seconds. We did a bit more for artworks that had a generous amount of paint and a bit less for artworks that were spare.
3. Remove, let cool, then touch and admire how the paint puffed up and cooked solid.
Okay, I think you get the idea.
After using up the paint in the squeeze bottles, Daphne moved on to the paint left in the cups and use it for some puffy paint printmaking experiments. She did some flower printing, lego printing, fork printing, and more. And then microwaved the printed art, of course, and saw her prints puff up.
More Microwave Puffy Paint Inspiration
- Puffy paint fall tree (on Blog Me Mom)
- Fall scented microwave puffy paint (On Fun at Home with Kids)
- Check out these beautiful puffy paint designs! (On Mommy Labs)
3 Other Fun Things to do with a Microwave
- Soap clouds with ivory soap (on Happy Hooligans)
- Microwave marshmallow experiment (on TinkerLab)
- Make Kool-Aid dyed playsilks
We don’t actually own a microwave and were borrowing one for a friend for some fun art and science experiments so we really packed a lot in to our borrowing time.
We did the ivory soap experiment at Maia’s mad scientist birthday party, we made lots and lots of puffy paint art, we watched marshmallow after marshmallow grow exponentially in the microwave, and we even painted our marshmallows with puffy paint first and then microwaved them. Good times.