Ever since Engineer and I experimented with our Multi-Sensory Colorful Explosions, he’s been dying to break out the Jell-O powder again. We’ve messed around with different variations of that experiment, but he wanted to come up with something new to do. One day when Girly-Girl was over, I suggested using the gelatin powder to paint . . . a multi-sensory process art experiment, if you will. Always willing to try something new (and messy), they were all for it!
So I mixed some cherry Jell-O powder with a bit of water, set out some paint brushes and construction paper, and let them get into it! Oh, who am I kidding? I totally got into it too. How could I not? It looked like a lot of fun!
The whole point of this was more about the experience than the end result. While I enjoy cutesy crafts and focused art projects, I loooooove to watch kiddos just get into the process of art. It’s just fun to sit back and watch them go all out with the materials. The way they delve into it in their own individual ways is always a kick in the pants.
Engineer and Girly Girl started out simply enough, using the paint brushes to make different lines and patterns on their paper. As they began, they commented on the scent of our “paint” . . .
- “Wow! This stuff smells yummy!”
- “Oooh, I bet it tastes good too. But can we eat the paint?”
- “It smells kind of like berries. I don’t know what kind. But I know I like it!”
I thought it smelled delicious too, and I’m actually surprised neither of them tried a quick taste!
After painting for a bit with the brushes, Engineer tried his hand at print-making. He painted on a piece of construction paper, then placed a clean sheet down on top of it and pressed. He was delighted at how well this worked, so he made about 4 or 5 prints.
After that, it became a full-body painting experience. They dunked their hands right into the gelatin-water mixture and made a variety of hand print paintings. Honestly, it looked like something out of a horror movie . . . with “bloody” hand prints all over the construction paper! Next time, I’m going to try a few different colors/flavors instead of just red/cherry.
As they used their hands and fingers to paint, I had a great time listening to more of their observations . . .
- “It feels kind of sandy. There isn’t any sand in there, though. Is it ’cause the powder’s still there? Didn’t it mix with the water all the way?”
- “Hey, my dry painting stills smells good!”
- “It looks like the paint has little bumps on it.”
- “Ahhh! I’m bleeding!” (Yes, you guessed it . . . that was one of Engineer’s comments.)
All in all, I think this was a fun art experiment. The kiddos used most of their senses to explore the paint — sight, touch, and smell. They would’ve been fine to taste it as well, but they didn’t. I got many giggles out of watching and participating, and the kids had a blast! We’ll definitely be painting with Jell-O again! Would you be up for trying this out with your children? If you do, I would love to hear about your experiences in the comments section below.
Simple Art Materials for Kids
Now that you’ve got several painting project ideas in your back pocket, make sure that you’re all stocked up on some useful art supplies.
Here are a few of the materials you might use for preschool art projects (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Liquid watercolors
- Coffee filters
- Washi tape
- Dot markers
- Contact paper
- Construction paper
- Washable tempera paint
Done-for-You Preschool Resources
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