Straw painting is a great project for combining creativity with a little science exploration, if a little craft fun isn’t enough on its own. As soon as your child is old enough to master the art of blowing out through a straw, she’s ready to show off her artistic design skills. "Master" is the key word here -- it is important that your child know the difference between blowing and sucking on a straw to prevent inhalation or swallowing of paint.
How to Paint With Straws
Start by thinning tempera,watercolor or homemade paint to the consistency of low-fat milk -- just a little thicker than water. Next, help your child dip one end of the straw in the paint, then hold his finger over the top end of the straw in order to transfer the paint to the paper. You may need to hold the end for smaller hands, or you can cut the straws to shorter lengths. Now, your young artist releases small drops of paint on a sheet of paper and then blows gently through the straw to spread the paint. Rather than transferring the paint to the paper in the straw, you could use a paint brush or spoon.
Science and Art
If you want to extend the project to a learning experience, encourage your child to experiment with blowing the paint from different angles or heights, or you can provide paint with different viscosity. Note the differences in the final results.
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