Friday, March 18, 2011

Magic School Bus Here we Come - The Making of Handmade Watercolors!

My 6 year old daughter made it her personal goal for the month of March to read 60 books by the end of the month. In February, she set a goal of 55 books and she did it! We were so proud of her that we also had a little celebration.  
In addition to reading we have also been studying Alabama through the program that Montessori Tidbits and Musings of Me have created called Trekking Across the US. One of the famous ladies that the Trekking Across the US featured was Helen Keller, so we have been reading about Helen Keller, as well as studying the Braille alphabet.
In addition, we also made handmade watercolors. Little did the girls know that it was also going to involve a little bit of science (they were surprised when the baking soda and vinegar started to fizzle). My oldest daughters goes ....ahhh this is awesome we are just like Ms. Frizzle in the Magic School bus! The watercolors we made were so much fun in that we created special names for them, (1) Ocean Blue, (2) Lady Bug Red, (3) Sunny Yellow, and (4) Grassy Green.
We thought you might enjoy the recipe.
Handmade Watercolors
3 T. baking soda
3 T. corn starch
3 T. white vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons light corn syrup
Food coloring (for each color we placed 10-13 drops)
First, mix the baking soda, corn starch and light corn syrup together in a mixing bowl. Then mix in the white vinegar into your mixing bowl. You can divide this mixture into different containers and then add your food coloring OR drop in your food coloring into the mixing bowl to make a large batch of one color.
We made four batches of the above recipe, pouring each into a separate container to dry. We used the lids from our Melissa & Doug painting containers, but you could also use any container lid, small ramekin, egg carton, or top of a milk carton lid. It takes roughly 24 hours for the watercolors to dry, but the thicker the depth of the watercolor, the longer it will take to dry.   
Although the colors were vibrant when first poured into the containers, they became more muted as they dried, and when we painted with them, the colors painted on to the paper nicely, but became lighter as they dried.  If you want brighter colors, add a few more drops of food coloring. The paint will also have a little bit of texture to it, as baking soda is an ingredient.


  1. Thanks for mentioning me in your post! Glad you are trekking with us! I'll give you a shout-out on my blog on Sunday.

  2. Going to give this a try my kids go thru paint so fast. Now following you. Found you on workboxes:) Hope you will take a peek at mine and follower back if you like it:) I love reading homeschooling blogs there are so many creative moms out there:)

  3. Looks like fun - will try this week and let you know how we do

  4. Thanks for sharing the recipe! What a great way to color your world. =) LOVE your pics. I'm such a visual person and great pics just draw me in!

  5. Wahoo . . quite a number of comments for your first blog post! Thanks for linking up . . . my silly sister! I'm going to have to make these watercolors!

  6. Going to try this with our kids....this looks like so much fun!
    New follower from workboxes.