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Scratch-and-Sniff Painting

Sweet Pea is 40 months old.

From: I found this at The Picky Apple and another version (featured on the fabulous Crafty Crow website) at Paint Cut Paste .


  • 3 or 4 packets of Kool-Aid in different colors.
  • Small bowls.
  • Paint brush.
  • Paper.
  • Kid’s craft paint in colors that correspond to the Kool-Aid.
  • Paper plate.


  • Pour a small amount of craft paint into each of the bowls and place the bowls on a paper plate.
  • Mix half a packet of Kool-Aid into the appropriate color of craft paint.
  • Watch in horror as a scary foam rises out of the bowl of its own accord.

  • Wait for the foam to stop expanding and stir the resulting mixture.  It will be rather grainy.
  • Repeat with the remaining Kool-Aid packets and paint colors.

  • Put a smock on your tot and set him up with paper, a paint brush and the Kool-Aid paint mixture.
  • Show your tot how to scoop some of the gunk out of the bowl and onto the paper.  It will be very thick and grainy, but should become more smooth as you brush it across the paper.

  • Allow your tot to paint.  (I encourage you to paint too.  It was lots of fun!)
  • Set your paintings aside for about a day until they are completely dry.
  • Invite your tot to smell the artwork!

Observations: Sweet Pea and I both loved this activity.  At first, I was very concerned by chunky the consistency of our “paint”, but Sweet Pea enjoyed working with the odd texture.

We both painted for quite a while.  On one piece of paper, Sweet Pea wanted to cover every bit of white with paint, which made this activity last even longer.

I thought the paint colors were beautiful and after we were done, I hung some of our paintings up on the wall.  For days, every time Sweet Pea walked by, she would stop to smell them.

We both had so much fun.  I would highly recommend this activity for any tots (or parents) who enjoy painting.

Notes from the Trenches: Kool-Aid can stain.  Make sure that you are working over a protected surface (like a paper plate) when you mix the paint and Kool-Aid.  My mixture did not actually leak over the edges of the bowl, but it easily could have.

Rating: 3 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent)

Carnivals: This post is linked at Delicious Ambiguity’s Tot Tuesday #26.


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