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Blow Painting

Wet paint moves around easily and drips. As it dries, it changes colour and texture.

In this make-and-take activity, children use air from their own breath to 'paint' abstract pictures, then observe how their artwork changes as it dries.

 Wet and Dry printable guide.

This activity was developed and tested with preschool and kindergarten educators as part of Science World's Big Science For Little Hands program.

Objectives

  • Discover the power of air to move objects.

  • Observe the differences in wet and dry paints.

Materials

  • Per Class or Group:
    tempera paint, thinned with water in a bowl
    containers for paint
    spoons or droppers for paint
    an electric fan (optional: to speed the drying process)

  • Per Child:
    1 drinking straw (HINT:to discourage smaller children from accidentally sucking up the paint, cut a small hole near the middle of the straw)
    paper (shiny fingerpaint paper works well)

Key Questions

  • What happens to the paint when you blow at it differently (i.e. softer, harder, in one long exhalation, in short exhalations, etc.)?
  • How does the paint change as it dries (colour, texture, behaviour)?
  • Does your painting look different dry than it did when it was wet? How is it different?

What To Do

Preparation

Consider having a previously made, dried painting as an example.

You may also find it helpful to have the students first practise blowing through the straws so they can feel the “wind” that will move their paint.

If you are concerned about students using too much paint, you may want to distribute it yourself – a little bit goes a long way!

Activity

  1. Drip a small amount of paint onto your paper.
  2. Blow on the drops of paint with your straw to make your own design.
  3. To speed the drying process, use an electric fan to dry the paintings, then observe any changes.

Extensions

  • Move wet paint around the paper using gravity!
  • Experiment with different kinds of paper.