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Uses for Liquid Watercolors in Art and Early Childhood Classrooms

by Sara Kreutz

Liquid water colors have so many uses. They work better than trying to thin tempra paint as the colors stay more vibrant. They also do not stain fingers as food coloring will. You can always do the traditional coloring of playdough or coffee filter art but below are a few different projects and uses for liquid watercolors.

  1. You can open the back of most markers and put a few drops of the liquid water colors to re-ink the markers. No need to throw away old markers unless the end is smushed.
  2. You can put plain pasta/rice in a ziplock bag and add a few drops to color it. Let the kids do this themselves and then stick/glue to paper to make collage.
  3. Do same above with white cornmeal to make a colored sand like art media.
  4. Do same above to color salt. To dry quickly put in microwave. Makes a safe colored glitter.
  5. Use to add color to glue and shaving cream mixture (equal parts) to make a flourscent colored puffy paint.
  6. Use liquid watercolors to teach blending/mixing of colors, noticing differences-light and dark colors, and fine motor development. Use eyedroppers to add liquid water colors to mounds of shaving cream, mounds of clear geletin, or in white ice cube trays with clear water.
  7. Add liquid watercolors to spray bottles and spray a rainbow. Use a white sheet hung from a link fence outside. Liquid water colors will not clog the spray bottles like thinned tempra paint will.
  8. Fill an old panty hose with about a cup of sand and tie closed. Dip in the liquid water color and throw at a piece of paper hung on a wall/fence outside. Or you can hold the dry end of the sock and bounce it around on paper on the floor or inside a tall box if doing inside to control splatters.
  9. Float a few drops of liquid watercolor on liquid laundry starch. Draw a fork or toothpick thro the colors to swirl. Lay a sheet of paper lightly on top to make a print.
You can use liquid water colors any way you use paint or food coloring with the assurance that they usually don't stain as bad. They provide a deep vibrant color that is transluent.

About the Author:
Sara Kreutz is a preschool special education teacher. She has been teaching early childhood for 12 -15 years. She has run art workshops for early childhood educators.



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