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Art Recipes

by Cathy Abraham

Non-Hardening No Cook Playdough
2 cups self-rising flour
1 T. Alum
2 T. Salt
2 T. cooking oil
1 cup plus 2 T. boiling water

Mix and knead. (Due to boiling water, cannot be made with the children present)

Dry Salt Paint
1 cup salt
½ tsp food coloring

Spread in pan to dry. Put in shakers. Shake onto paper brushed with glue.

Cooked Playdough
1 cup flour
½ cup salt
1 cup water
1 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp cream of tartar

Heat until ingredients form a ball. Add food coloring.

Finger Paint
1 cup elastic dry starch
1 cup cold water
3 cups boiling water
1 cup Ivory Snow Flakes
oil of cloves (few drops)
vegetable coloring

Dissolve elastic starch in cold water. Smooth lumps and add boiling water. Stir constantly. Thicken but do not boil more than 1 minute. Add rest of ingredients. Use on glazed paper or wrapping paper.

Soap Bubbles
1 cup water
2 T. liquid detergent
1 T. glycerin
½ tsp. Sugar

Mix all ingredients. Use bubble wands to blow bubbles.

Sawdust Modeling
4 cups sawdust
1 cup wheat paste
2 ½ cups water.

Mix. Add color.

Easy Playdough
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
tempera paint

Mix flour, salt and paint with enough water to make the correct consistency.

Sally's Playdough Recipe
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 T. oil
1 T. alum
½ cup salt
2 T. vanilla
food coloring

Mix all dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it reaches the consistency of mashed potatoes. Remove from heat, add vanilla and color. Divide into balls and knead in color.

½ cup flour
½ cup water

Clean Mud
4 rolls of toilet paper (torn)
3 bars Ivory Soap (shaved)
1 gallon warm water
½ tsp. bleach
large tub

Place torn toilet paper in tub. Add grated soap. Add warm water. Mix and knead. Add water when dry.

Mix equal parts white glue to liquid starch. (Gak has the texture and consistency of Silly Putty)

½ cup cornstarch
¼ cup water
food coloring

Mix in media table. Let children explore texture - it is wet, but feels dry to the touch.

Puffy Paint
Mix equal parts of flour, salt, water, liquid tempera (for color). Put in squeeze container. Use on heavy paper.

Scribble Cookies
Put old stubby crayons in muffin tins (lined with cupcake papers) Place in warm oven. Let melt. Pop out of paper when cool.

Sparkly Salt Paint
2 cups salt
½ cup liquid starch
1 cup water
tempera paint or food color

Thoroughly mix liquid starch, salt, and water. Slowly add food coloring or tempera powder. Use as paint. Pictures will sparkle when the salt paint dries.

Dry Sand Paint
½ cup sand (washed, dried)
1 T. powdered paint

Mix. Put into a shaker. Shake onto glue on paper.

Face Paint
2 T. cold cream
½ tsp glycerin
1 T. cornstarch
1 tsp dry tempera paint

Pixie Dust

Mix together. Sprinkle!

Potters Clay
½ cup flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 cup salt
3 ½ cups boiling water

Dissolve salt in boiling water. Add cornstarch, mix, cook until clear. Cool overnight. Add 6-8 additional cups flour until not sticky.

Soapsuds Clay
¾ cup soap powder
1 T. warm water

Mix well.

Modeling Goop
2 cups salt
1 cup water
1 cup cornstarch

Cook salt and ½ cup water 5 min. Add rest, cook until thickens

Colored Glue
Mix food coloring, tempera or glitter into glue bottles.

Cloud Dough
1 cup salad oil
6 cups flour
1 cup water
food coloring or tempera

Use just enough water to bind mixture. Knead. Cloud dough is soft, pliable and oily, but provides an unusual tactile experience.

Oatmeal Dough
1 cup flour
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup water
food coloring or tempera

Mix flour and oatmeal, then add water gradually. Cornmeal may be added in place of oatmeal to vary the texture.

Sidewalk Chalk
'Plaster of Paris'
Tempera (for color)

Mix. Pour into cupcake papers or toilet paper rolls. Pop out when dry.

Baked Salt Dough
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
Enough water to make a dough-like mixture.

Flat objects can be baked 300*F. for 1 hour. Paper clips in back before baking will serve as a hanger. Paint designs after baking.

Hard-drying Clay
2 cups Baking Soda
1 cup cornstarch
1 ¼ cup water

Mix cornstarch and baking soda. Add water. Blend thoroughly, then bring to a boil stirring constantly. At consistency of mashed potatoes, cool. Sculptures dry in 36 hours.

# Store 'doughs' in airtight plastic bags or containers.
# Children are to wash hands prior to use of shared group materials.
# Safety is paramount in cooking with children!!!

Birdseed Playdough
2 cups flour
1 cup salt

Mix flour, salt & birdseed with enough water to make the correct consistency. Put outside for birds when children are done playing with dough.

Bug Fossils
Plaster of Paris (cement)
Shallow tray
Bug (dead)

Mix plaster of paris according to directions. Pour into shallow tray. When almost dry, press bug into mixture. Let dry. Remove bug, and fossil imprint will remain.

Puffy Clouds
Mix equal parts white glue and non-menthol shaving crème. Use to fingerpaint or paint "clouds" onto pictures. Will dry stiff.

Cloud Paint
Mix equal parts of flour, salt, water, small amt. blue liquid tempera or food coloring (to color.) Put in squeeze container. Use on heavy paper.

Chocolate Play Dough
1 ¼ cups flour, ½ cup cocoa powder, ½ cup salt, ½ Tb. cream of tartar, 1-½ Tb. cooking oil, 1-cup hot water.

Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Stir quickly. Mix well with hands when cool.

Star Paint
¼ Cup Liquid Starch
¼ Cup water
2 tablespoons tempera
1 Cup Salt

Keep stirring paint during activity.

Rainbow Stew
2 cups water
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup corn starch
food coloring

When cool, put different colors into sealed baggie for children to blend together.

Toothpaste Putty
½ cup toothpaste (creamy, not gel)
1 cup white glue
2 cups dry laundry starch
1 Tbl water

Combine and Knead.

Oat Dough
2 cups Oats
1 T. Alum (optional)
2 T. Salt
2 T. cooking oil
1 cup + 2 T. boiling water

Mix and knead. (Due to boiling water, cannot be made with the children present)

Silly Slime
1 cup of cornstarch
1 cup of water.

Mix until a smooth texture. Change the texture by adding a 2nd cup of corn starch. Add food color or paint to color

Dinosaur Sand Dough
3 cups sand
3 tsp Alum (optional)
1 ½ cups cornstarch
2 ¼ cups very hot water
food coloring

Mix hot water to dry ingredients and knead. (Due to very hot water, cannot be made with the children present)

Cornmeal Dough
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup salt
tempera paint

Mix cornmeal, salt and paint (for color) with enough water to make the right consistency.

Paper Mache`
2 cups flour
strips of newspaper

Mix flour and water to make a thin "paste" Dip newspaper strips into mixture and squeeze off excess. Layer onto base of puppet or mask you are creating. Allow to dry. Paint and decorate.

Alien Slime
4 cups soap flakes
8 liters warm water
food color
First day the mixture is runny. The next day, after sitting out all night, it will have a jelly consistency

Sand Dough
2 cups cornstarch
4 cups sand (fine preferred)
3 cups cold water

In an old pan, stir 5 - 10 minutes until thick. Let cool and store in plastic bag until ready to use. Children can make"sandcastles". Set out to dry for 2 - 3 days

House/Hut Building Mud
Mix dirt with water to desired consistency. Add grass for additional texture. Allow children to form into "Huts" and clay homes. Let dry for a couple of days.

Sand Sculptures
2 Cups Sand
1 Cup Cornstarch
1 Cup Water

Mix sand and cornstrarch in saucepan. Stir in water. Heat mixture, while stirring. When thick, remove from heat and cool.

Mud Dough
½ Cup cold water
1 Tbls Oil
2 Tbls brown washable paint

Stir in ½ Cup Salt, 1 Tbls Cornstarch. Gradually add 1 ½ Cups flour

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
White tempera paint
White glitter

Mix dry ingredients with enough water to make the desired consistency.

Fingerpaint Recipe #2
3 Tbl. Sugar
½ cup cornstarch
2 cups cold water
food coloring
liquid dishsoap

Mix sugar and cornstarch together in pan over low heat. Add 2 cups cold water. Stir until thick. Divide up mixture, then add colors. Add a drop of soap to help prevent staining.

Pumpkin Pie Playdough
5 ½ Cups flour
2 Cups salt
8 tsp. Creme of Tarter
¾ Cup Oil
1 box pumpkin spice (1 oz)
orange food coloring
4 Cups water

Mix together. Cook/stir on medium heat until lumps are gone. Knead on floured surface until smooth.

Sparkling Peppermint Play Dough
2-cups warm water
2-cups flour
1-cup salt
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
4 Tbl oil
4 Tbl peppermint extract
Red food coloring

Combine all ingredients. Mix with wooden spoon until mixture thickens and pulls away from side of bowl. Add red food coloring.

Gingerbread Playdough
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tsp. vegetable oil
Lots of cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, whatever!

Mix the dry ingredients. Experiment with spices to get scent & color desired. Mix water and oil together first, THEN add to dry ingredients. Stir. In a pot, cook mixture 2 - 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Dough will start to pull away from the sides of pan and clump together. Take dough out of pan. Knead.

Tools to Paint With

Paint brushes * sponges * combs * spools * tooth brushes * paint rollers * sticks * rag strips * cookie cutters * cooking utensils * paint edgers q-tips * pine cones * scrub brushes * straws * string * yarn * medicine droppers * deodorant roll-top bottles * corncobs * crumpled paper * feathers * potatoes mashers * tongue depressors * Popsicle sticks * fingers * fruits/vegetables * dental floss * marbles * rubber spatulas * fly swatters * koosh balls * spray bottles * golf balls * large beads * cotton balls * evergreen swags * plastic play animal 'feet' (prints) * bubble wrap * old mascara brushes * pipecleaners * corks * an old computer mouse * nail polish brushes * wheels * kitchen basting brushes * baby bottle brushes

Surfaces on Which to Paint

All kinds of paper - colored, computer, newsprint, manila, giftwrap, waxed paper, old newspapers, typing paper, tagboard, butcher paper, posterboard, construction paper, fingerpaint paper, easel paper, cardboard, corrugated, etc Lunch bags * cloth * foil * corrugated cardboard * large tile squares * rocks * bark * boards * sidewalks * windows * mirrors * plastic coffee lids * styrafoam meat trays * old placemats * burlap * coffee filters * boxes * magazines * wallpaper * comic strips * old phone books * plexiglas * screens * window shades * envelopes * paper plates * paper towels * canvas * paper towel tubes * tissue paper * bubble wrap * doilies * suede * old shower curtains * sheets * vinyl * cellophane * fabric * T-shirts * pieces of wood * clay creations * tin * ceiling tiles * paper grocery bags * juice lids

Mixers to Add Variety to Paint Texture

Sand * coffee grounds * baby powder * detergent powder * water (to change consistency) * rice * glitter * sugar * cornmeal * salt * oatmeal * soap flakes * baking powder * syrup * cooking oil * shaving crème * glue * confetti *

Media For at the Easel

Finger paint * tempera paint (with a variety of textures - see above) * Watercolors * diluted food coloring * berry juices * dried up markers dipped in water * chalk * chalk dipped in water * shaving cream * crayons * oil sticks * colored pencils * markers (thick/thin)* highlighters * scribble cookies * several crayons tied together * spray bottles with diluted paint or colored water * graphite pencils * calligraphy pens * charcoal sticks * glitter pens * colored glue * stamp pads * paint brushes tied together * gel pens

Collage Materials

Cut up straws * yarn * fabric scraps * magazines * greeting cards * ribbon * tissue paper scraps * twine * glitter * egg shells * stamps * small wood scraps * confetti * packaging materials * bows * streamers * fringe * fake fur scraps * velvet * wrapping paper * Popsicle sticks * paper scraps * wallpaper books * pompom balls * googlie eyes * doilies * trim * colored pasta * cotton balls * q-tips * Easter grass * raffia * catalogs * buttons * sequins * feathers * felt * foil * lace * rickrack * seeds * shredded paper * dried flower petals * ceramic tiles * colored wire * spools * crepe paper * * colored rice * beads * bread bag closures * All types of paper (listed above)

Materials for 3-D Projects

Milk cartons * Paper plates * Paper towel rolls * gift/shoe boxes * spools * frozen food trays * chicken wire * clothespins * coffee cans * shells * recyclables * plastic margarine tubs/lids * yogurt containers * nature items

Bubble Recipes

3/4 Cups Joy brand liquid dishwashing detergent
1/4 cup glycerin
1/2 gallon water
Mix all ingredients and pour into a shallow pan.

Note: Solutions work best if allowed to set for several days before use.

Bubble Solution #1
1 cup of water
2 tbsp liquid detergent
1 tbsp glycerine
1/2 tsp sugar

Bubble Solution #2
2/3 cup liquid dish detergent
1 gallon water
1 tbsp glycerin (optional)

Bubble Solution #3
3 cups water
2 cups Joy liquid detergent
1/2 cup Karo syrup

Combine ingredients and allow to sit in an open container for at least a day before using.

Best Bubble Solution
1 c Water
2 Tbs. Light Karo syrup OR 2 Tbs. Glycerin
4 tb Dishwashing liquid

Mix together

Bubble Mix #4
1/2 C. Water
1/2 C. Liquid Detergent
1 Tbl. Cooking Oil
Mix together and use.

Bubble Solution
3 C. water
2 C. Joy liquid detergent
½ C. Karo syrup

Combine ingredients and allow to sit in an open container for at least a day before using. The longer the solution sits the better the bubbles.

Recipe for Homemade Bubble Mix
1 gallon water
½ cup Joy ® dish washing liquid
¼ cup glycerin

The longer the solution sits, the stronger the bubbles will be

Bubble Solution
Simple Solution - makes 4 ounces

2 Tbsp. dishwashing liquid
1/2 cup water

Super-Sized Solution - makes 1 gallon

1 3/4 cups dishwashing liquid
12 cups water

Bubble Solution
1/8 cup dishwashing liquid
1 cup water

1/4 cup liquid dish soap, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon sugar

3 cups water, 2 cups liquid dish soap (Joy detergent), 1/2 cup light corn syrup

2/3 cup liquid dish soap, 1 gallon of water, 1 tablespoon glycerin

About the Author:
Cathy Abraham has worked in the early childhood field for 25 years. She is currently a consultant, curriculum writer and trainer. Cathy can be reached at .

If you have any educational articles, homeschooling techniques, activities for elementary aged children, parenting resources, hobbies/crafts, money-saving ideas, or family time activities, please submit them and we will be posting them soon! We would love to hear from you!

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