These ideas are from the International Nanny Association's cookbook Beyond Peanut Butter and Jelly which also features creative ideas for art, parties and more. All of these project are not only colorful but can be messy. Having children wear protective paint shirt and covering your project area is a great idea. Also, we used plastic utensils for stirring which we reused, plastic gloves to avoid dyed hands and tweezers to manipulate the colored items. Enjoy!
3 to 4 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
Paste Food Coloring
Uncooked pasta - macaroni or tube shaped works best
*Cord for making jewelry
Combine the alcohol with a small amount of food coloring in a bowl and mix until smooth. The paste style food coloring has strong intense colors and really do the best job when added to the pasta. Add the uncooked pasta and mix gently, but thoroughly to color. Spread colored pasta onto wax paper and let stand until dry. Try to spread out the pasta so it isn't touching another piece which can dry together.
*You can string colored pasta onto cords to make necklaces and bracelets. Or these are great for stringing patterns for matching games as well.
Clean, fine sand - you can find these in home supply or craft stores (we have used sandbox sand and even coarser sand which gives a different look to finished projects)
Several Jars - one per color (I like baby food jars myself)
Powdered Tempera Paint
Place sand in jar leaving room for powdered paint. Add enough paint to create the desired color, mix well. You can mix with a plastic spoon or close jar tightly and shake. Repeat process for each color. Store jars to use your sand in painting and other craft projects.
*You can buy colored sand at the craft stores but this method adds more choices for colors and is typically less expensive. I'll be honest it's just a fun project on it's own which we didn't want to miss.
Color Your String
Tempera Paint (mixed or liquid not powdered)
Wax Paper or Paper
Dip the string or rope into tempera paint. You can arrange the string into desired designs on paper for string art and let dry, or paint with the string onto the paper. Or place onto wax paper and let dry for use later in a project or to wrap packages.
*The color intensity also depends on what the string or rope is made of. This can be a fun experiment if you have several types on hand. We used tweezers to pick up the string. Also, having gloves on reduces days of green hands.