Colorful sprinkle paint pictures

I almost forgot to share with you our colorful sprinkle paint pictures we made a few weeks ago.  So let me get you caught up on this super cool process…

First of all, you should know that we sprinkle painted in our outdoor classroom and the table we used was sitting directly in some very bright sunlight which caused some serious shadowing all around the table.  Taking the photos was a bit challenging but I think we managed quite well in the end…

The children started by sprinkling powdered tempera paint on their paper.  I placed different colors of powdered tempera paint in salt shakers that I purchased from the Dollar store…

The children loved sprinkling their paper with the powdered tempera paint.  They loved it so much so that we kind of had to remind them that a little bit of color would work just as nicely as a lot of color and that it would be very thoughtful if they would save some of the powder in the bottle for their friends to have a try….

Once the children had completed sprinkling the powdered tempera paint on their paper, then they used a spray bottle filled with water to spray the powdered paint…

The children sprayed the entire paper generously with the water so by the time we would lift it off of the table, it was dripping wet…

We ended up setting a bucket next to our paintings to let some of the water drain off before hanging the pictures to dry. Being in our outdoor classroom is almost as good as being outside because it doesn’t matter if paint gets on the floor.  If you are doing this in an indoor classroom, you might want to have lots of newspaper handy to cover the space under and around the table…

As each child decided they had sprinkled enough water on their paint, we drained off a little of the excess then hung them up…

During our painting process, the children liked to watch each other sprinkle the paint and water.  I even had two students who decided to stop by and look at the paintings through a magnifying glass…

One of our youngest students held the magnifying glass over a color and would ask her friend, “And what color is this?”  And her friend would answer with the correct color – “That is red.”  The girls went through each color on the paper before moving on.  I had to wait to hang up the paper to dry until I was sure their little color review was completely over…

Because the shadows were so dark around our work space, the children also enjoyed checking out their shadows as they painted…

And here I thought this was just going to be a simple art activity!  Instead, it turned into a color review and exploration of light and shadows. It’s always good to keep your plans flexible to those natural learning opportunities that can surprise you along the way…

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention how the texture of the powdered paint ranged from bumpy, to damp, to watery on the children’s papers.  What an excellent process for exploring texture and color and with all the spraying, our hands got a good fine motor work out too….

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By |2012-06-13T09:00:19+00:00June 13th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Joan June 13, 2012 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Love doing this activity! In the spring, I draw a few ovals and butterfly outlines on the colorful, dry finished project. The children then cut them out and we have some beautiful Easter eggs and butterflies for our bulletin board.
    Thanks so much for all the great ideas, Deborah! I look forward to starting school again in the fall with some new enthusiasm thanks to you!!

  2. Cait Faulkner June 13, 2012 at 11:48 am - Reply

    This works nicely if the paper is wet before they start. We did it earlier in the year and children drew on their paper with a white candle, washed it over with a big brush and water and then sprinkled the colour on – lots of ‘magic’ going on there!

  3. Nell June 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    Love this activity! We have also done it when light rain was in the forecast. We put our paper on trays before sprinkling the powdered paint, so that we could carry them outside and wait for the rain sprinkles to begin.

  4. Ness @ One Perfect Day June 14, 2012 at 6:32 am - Reply

    These are so beautiful! My son has been asking to do spray painting for a while now. I’m not even sure what he means by that (or for that matter where he sees these things to ask for them!) but I think THIS activity would fit the bill perfectly! All that beautiful color and watcing the change from powder to liquid – so wonderful. I’ve pinned this for futur reference. Thanks!

  5. Lyn Goff June 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    I Love all of these ideas…can’t wait to try it next year.
    Mrs. Goff’s Pre-K Tales

  6. Anna June 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Beautiful paintings here. I’ll have to find some powdered paint somewhere. I used to love it at school.

  7. [email protected] June 14, 2012 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Oh, I just love this process Deborah! Such a beautiful and vibrant way to paint too!

  8. Marnie Byod June 14, 2012 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    I have never tried that technique of coloring.
    My nephews will surely love this when I demonstrate this.
    thanks for sharing this thing here!

  9. Roopa June 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    Love the idea. We have played with powdered paints and ice and also on wet paper. A cheaper alternative to Powdered tempera is Kool Aid and smells lovely too;)

  10. Sarah June 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Such a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

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