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Rainbow Toast

Sweet Pea is 33 months old.

From: I found this really fun idea at Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds.  I had never seen something like this before and couldn’t wait to try it.


  • Several slices of bread.
  • Milk.
  • Food Coloring (I highly recommend the gel type instead of the liquid drops that are shown in the picture.)
  • 2-3 small bowls.
  • Very clean paint brush.
  • Fork or Spoon for stirring.
  • Bib.
  • Toaster (Optional).


  • Pour milk into each of the bowls.
  • Add a small amount of food coloring to the milk in each of the bowls to create a variety of different “milk paint” colors.  Stir the dye into the milk until the paint in each bowl is one uniform color.
  • Put a bib or smock on your tot and get him or her situated at the table.
  • Put the bread, milk paint and brush in front of your tot.
  • Let him or her paint on the bread with the “milk paint”.  Flip the bread over for more fun.

  • Toast the bread if desired and eat it.  (We made a PB&J out of it.)

Observations: Sweet Pea’s was insane about this activity.    I only let her paint 4 pieces because I didn’t want to waste the food, but she begged for more.  I think she would have used an entire loaf of bread if I would have let her.  Oh, and she also loved drinking the colored milk afterward.

The slices of bread turned out surprisingly pretty and Sweet Pea had so much fun painting them.  I would highly recommend this activity for other tots.

Notes from the Trenches:

  • The most important thing to note is that soft, semi-wet milky toast is really disgusting.  Toasting helps some, but not much.  I will spare you any sort of analogies to other non-food items, but Sweet Pea was sooo proud of the toast she had painted for me that I steeled my resolve and choked it down anyway.  I really feel like I should get some sort of “Mothering Award” for eating the entire piece.  Don’t tell your tot that you will be eating the rainbow toast or you too might find yourself cramming oozy wet bread down your gullet.
  • Sweet Pea started begging me to make “Rainbow Toast” every morning until I sat her down for a little talk about the meaning of the phrase “only for special occasions”.
  • I stained my butcher block with my (very old bottles of) food coloring because there were bits of dried food coloring stuck under the lids.  When I opened them, the microscopic dye-dust fell off the lip of the bottles, and onto the counter.  This dust was invisible until I swiped a dishrag  across the counter and created my own little ‘rainbow’ all over the butcher block.  I will never use liquid food coloring again.  I threw away the box and will only use the gel stuff from now on.  But even that will stain everything it touches.

Rating: 4 Stars * (Fun, Easy, Independent, Frugal)

Carnivals: This post is linked to Child Centered Art Party #13 at Art for Little Hands.

8 comments to Rainbow Toast

  • I love your description of the milky toast. 🙂 I have to laugh because my husband makes this for himself to eat all the time in a bowl – he breaks up a piece of toast, adds milk and microwaves. I think its pretty gross but it was one of his childhood “comfort foods”. My kids are probably evenly split – one would eat it, the other definitely not – but painting is always a big hit so maybe we’ll try it (without mom offering to try any, LOL).

  • If you stick it in the toaster after its painted, it makes the colors darker and drys it out so its not icky mush!

    I remember doing this as a kid, I cant with my son b/c he is allergic to milk and foodcoloring! Its a fun idea though, Im going to try and find some food coloring he can eat so we can try this (and use almond milk)

  • What an interesting idea!!! I loved your notes in the trenches 🙂 I’m sorry about your butcher block:(

  • You could do a french toast egg mixture with different colors, then it would be good to eat 🙂 Maybe lunch one day this week?

  • I have wanted to do this one day. It is a fun art project and my kids would think it was so fun to eat their art! Thanks for sharing at my art party.

  • Nikki

    For your butcher block, when seat pea is not around, try placing a paper towel over the stain and wetting it with straight bleach, letting it soak for an hour or so should pull the stain out. Happy toddler days!

  • […] water so she enjoyed this, although she hasn’t asked about it again.  (Unlike say, the Rainbow Toast, which she still brings up often in morning.)  She stood at the sink and practiced filling the […]

  • […] making water drops on wax paper, pipe cleaner threading (straws, pasta etc), Letter Matching Eggs, marshmellow and toothpick creations (but they’ll probably just eat all the marshmallows), spooning and pouring, (especially non-liquids like raisins or pompoms), Playing at the Sink(measuring cups, funnel, bubbles, float and sink), popsicle stick shapes, seasonal sensory bins, Penny Drop Game, interviewing a 3 yr old.. and my personal favorite: rainbow toast! […]

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