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3-Ingredient Puffy Paint: Creative STEM Fun for Kids!

Miss Cody


Assistant Director @ Oakdowns

Blend of art and science with our 3-Ingredient Puffy Paint. Composed of shaving cream, Elmer’s School Glue, and food colouring, this activity facilitates a tactile exploration of textures and color theory. As children mix and match, they intuitively grasp the basics of colour blending, ratios, and reactions.

Beyond honing fine motor skills, the hands-on nature of this project cultivates observational skills and ignites scientific curiosity. Artistic expression and foundational STEM learning seamlessly converge in this engaging endeavor!

Items Need (& Equipment if needed)

Gather ’round, mini-artists! Before we create magic, we need to make sure our art kit is ready. Here are our enchanted ingredients:

  • Cloud-like shaving cream
  • Trusty Elmer’s School Glue
  • Rainbow drops of food colouring


With a wiggle of fingers and a sprinkle of creativity, let’s conjure up our puffy paint potion:

  1. Begin by combining fluffy shaving cream and Elmer’s school glue in a bowl. Mix them well, imagining soft, puffy clouds!
  2. Dreaming of a single shade? Pour your favourite food colouring hue right into the bowl and stir until it looks like a pastel dream.
  3. But, if you’re craving a rainbow, split your creamy mixture into smaller cups. Add a different shade of food colouring to each, stirring them into vibrant masterpieces.
  4. Time to get messy and creative! Always keep a paper towel fairy by your side; with young hands, things might get a bit splish-splashy. But remember, art is all about having fun!

Final Words or Additional Information

The 3-Ingredient Puffy Paint activity is a multifaceted experience that combines artistic expression with foundational scientific principles, all while enhancing a range of developmental skills. The benefits for children are vast, including:

  • Cognitive Development: Mixing colours helps children learn about colour theory, understand primary and secondary colours, and develop prediction skills (e.g., “What will happen when I mix red and blue?”).
  • Sensory Exploration: The tactile experience of playing with the different textures—fluffy shaving cream, sticky glue, and the final paint consistency—supports sensory integration and understanding of materials.
  • Fine Motor Skills: Handling brushes, squeezing glue bottles, and manipulating the mixture help refine the muscles in the hands and fingers, essential for tasks like writing and buttoning in the future.
  • STEM Introduction: The activity bridges art and science, giving children a basic insight into chemical reactions (how materials can change when combined) and the concept of ratios (adding more or less colour to achieve desired shades).
  • Creativity and Imagination: Offering a canvas to paint on allows children to express their artistic visions and fosters creativity and imaginative thinking.
  • Problem-Solving: Adjusting the consistency of the paint or achieving a specific colour shade promotes problem-solving skills.
  • Social Skills: If done in a group setting, children can collaborate, share, and discuss their artistic choices, fostering communication and teamwork.
  • Patience and Focus: Taking the time to mix, colour, and paint helps children develop concentration and the ability to focus on tasks, as well as patience as they wait for their artwork to dry.