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super easy art with kids: straw painting

    Last week my daughter had a play date and so we did a little art project. In all honesty, it was also practice for art class I was teaching to second-graders the next day, but my kids will pretty much always take me up on some art time if I offer.


    (via instagram)

    This one is super, super easy. The girls (4 yrs) and my youngest son (6 yrs) loved it and the second graders loved it, too.

    Here’s what you need:


    watered-down paint / straws / paper

    Note on the paint: I used crayola washable kids’ paint and added maybe a teaspoon of water. You can play with the consistency to make it thin enough to spread out, but thick enough to maintain it’s bright color.

    STEP ONE // drip small drops of paint on paper


    We just used these tiny plastic icecream spoons leftover from a sundae party, but any spoon or medicine dropper will do.

    STEP TWO // blow through straw to spread the paint


    It may be helpful to cut the straws in half to reduce the amount of breath required!


    Continue dripping paint and blowing … the colors will blend in to each other and the shapes turn out so organic and interesting.


    And it seriously is so simple and fool-proof to do with young kids, but equally enjoyable with older ones.

    I think the art is pretty as it is, but wouldn’t it be cool cut out like this? Hope you get to try this with the kiddos in your life!

    9 thoughts on “super easy art with kids: straw painting”

    1. I’ve done another fun version of this. Put the paint mix in a larger flat container, we use microwave dinner trays, and blow bubbles into the mix. Take your paper and gently lay it over the bubbles and pop them, keep switching between the colors for a fun pattern. It makes a really cool almost tie dyed effect.

    2. This would be a great OT session with my little one with Down Syndrome. I hadn’t thought of cutting the straws in half either. Genius.

    3. Emily – this is an awesome idea. I have three little ones and love fun and slightly messy activities like this one. Also, I’m in your design course right now and loving it, and using much of how you inspire me on my own working-mom blog. You’re fantastic – keep it up and enjoy the fleeting sunshine – from a fellow PNWer (slightly more N – in BC)

    4. Oh, and I meant to ask, is that your kitchen table that is black? I’ve been going back and forth on staining my too-light of a wood table a darker color. Did you buy yours that way, or paint/stain it?How does the black hold up with kids? I love the look of it in your photos, but now am hesitant and scared to a decision! Thanks for any feedback! k

    5. I’ve never heard of Sarah Jane…thanks for sharing her blog. This is activity is always a hit in my class…I like to pull it out of my bag of tricks when the kiddos are a bit too hyper…all of the blowing
      kind of wears them out :)

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