Friday, July 12, 2013

Water Balloon Painting!

This activity is definitely messy fun! You have been duly warned. It was an idea that I found here. While it sounds a bit kooky, I am always up for new ways of painting, so we had to try it out. The hardest part was getting them to be patient while I filled all the balloons, but once we were ready to go, the kids had a blast! If you're not afraid of getting of a bit messy, this is a great summer activity.

{Finished Painting by Mia, Age 6}

{Finished Painting by Logan, Age 3}

  • water balloons (Ours were from Dollar Tree.)
  • paint (Ours was powdered tempera that I mixed up in small batches.)
  • plastic dosing syringe (like the ones you get for administering oral antibiotics to little ones)
  • paper (Ours was a roll of craft paper I got from a garage sale. I've also seen it at Dollar Tree. If you happen to have a roll of butcher block paper, that would work, too.)
  • scissors
  • masking tape
  • bowl to hold the filled balloons (Nice, but not necessary, this came in handy as well when it was time to pick up the pieces of popped balloons.)
  • towels, washcloths, wipes, or paper towel (for clean-ups!)
  1. I strongly recommend having everyone change into old clothing before starting. I asked my kids to go barefoot, but the pavement was hot, so we compromised and they wore their Crocs (easily cleaned up, so no worries).
  2. Mix up your paints. I have 4 colors of powdered tempera paints: red, yellow, blue, and green, so I just mixed a small bit of water with each of those in my plastic paint cups. Then, I mixed red and yellow to get orange and red and blue to get purple, so we had a total of 6 colors to use. (Tip: If you have ready-made tempera paints, you can skip this step, but I think that powdered temperas are a good investment. You can make up as little or as much as you need for each use and it's easy to adjust the consistency to accommodate the type of paint project you are doing. In the end, I think they are cheaper, plus you don't have to worry about them drying out and being ruined.)
  3. Add some paint to each water balloon, using a plastic dosing syringe. I think we filled about 20 balloons in total.
  4. Next, add some water to each water balloon so that they are inflated more. Don't add too much water, though. They don't need to be as big as possible. (Tip: Honestly, I am wondering if this step since we had trouble getting them to pop, anyway, and this just diluted the paint. We tried only one balloon without the water, and while it was much smaller, it popped just the same -- with being stomped -- and the paint remained vivid and undiluted.)
  5. Cut some paper off of your roll of craft paper (or butcher block paper) and adhere to a flat, smooth surface using masking tape. We did this in the driveway. Alternatively, you could weight the paper down with rocks, or skip this altogether if you are not concerned about it getting blown or moved in any way. (Tip: I recommend one piece of paper for EACH child. It's just easier this way.)
  6. Now that you are all prepped, start making some art. Sadly, we found that the balloons did not pop when thrown at the paper. Rather, they bounced off and rolled away. So, I just suggested that Mia and Logan stomp on them, which they found to be great fun!

{Photos taken mid-pop!}

{See the splash? Messy fun!}
7.  Let your paintings air-dry. (Ours took about an hour on a bright, sunny day.) Then, remove them and display, if desired. Personally, I was thinking of this as a process-based project rather than a product-based one, but the results were pretty cool, so I found a place to hang each of the finished art projects. (Tip: Our finished paintings fit nicely on two different doors. I just made sure to place them above the doorknobs.)

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