How to make skittle paint

Yesterday, I shared a little glimpse of the Teach Preschool workshop for teachers. While presenting to the teachers, I demonstrated how to make M&M Paint.  One teacher then asked me if you can use Skittles candy instead. Well, I didn’t know so today, I gave it a try and wanted to share the results of Skittle Paint with you…

Gather your materials

You will need skittles, water, cups, paint brushes, and paper.

The amount of Skittles depends on the amount of paint you want to make.  In this tutorial, I used two regular sized bags of Skittles.  For my class, I would probably use at least one, maybe two, large bags of skittles.

I also used two different flavor of Skittles. The flavor didn’t seem to matter – they all worked the same.

Sort the skittles

I sorted the skittles by color. In my classroom, I would invite my students to sort the skittles – great activity for color sorting, comparing, grouping, counting, estimating, and color recognition…

Then place each of your sorted colors in a dish you can use for painting…

Add Water

Next, add enough water to cover the top of the skittles. Remember, the more water you add, the paler your color will be. For stronger color, add less water…

Now stir or swish the Skittles around in the water. The color will immediately start to come off of the Skittles and change your water to the color of the Skittles…

Now you are ready to paint with the Skittle Paint.  The paint will be like painting with water color paint. It is a very thin paint but slightly sticky to the touch…

The smell of the Skittles starts to fade a bit once the water is added.  But – FYI – if you taste the water, it tastes like very sweet Koolaid. However, once the Skittles start to dissolve in the water , they are not all that tempting to want to drink or eat but the good news is that Skittle Paint is non-toxic…

Because the Skittle Paint is a pretty thin consistency  – I decided it would be fun to try dripping the paint on a paper towel and it worked fabulously…

My niece joined in with me and made her own Skittle Paint designs…

Lots of possibility and fun with Skittle Paint! Now it is your turn to give it a try…

Comparing candies

To compare the difference, M&M paint does seem to be a little thicker, works very well with paint brushes,  and M&M’s do not dissolve completely – only the shell dissolves.

Skittles keep on dissolving as long as you are stirring them or they sit in the water. I only let my Skittles sit for a few minutes before painting with them.

You can view M&M Paint here! 

Both candies are non-toxic but you need to be considerate of any food allergies your students may have before trying either type of paint. 

Super simple and super fun!

Available on Amazon

By |2012-08-21T00:19:24+00:00August 21st, 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. Heather August 21, 2012 at 2:52 am - Reply


    I hope you don’t mind I shared this on Pinterest! 😀

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm - Reply

      Of course I don’t mind:)

    • Leigh'le'Anna 4th grade April 22, 2017 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Thank you because i wanted to know how to make my own paint. Thank you so much Deborah. I appreciate it.

  2. Cathie August 21, 2012 at 7:13 am - Reply

    Another use for Skittles. I think I’ll take the bag out of the bottom of my purse that’s there in case and give this a try today. We are painting rocks and this should give an extra fun punch to the activity. Thanks for the idea.

    Come visit me at
    Cathie J

  3. Vicki Blacken August 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    I really like the idea that the children can make the paint as well as paint with it. I’ll bet this would work great on coffee filters too. I also saw some fall leaf shapes made of absorbent tissue paper at Lakeshore recently. Dripping the Skittle paint on those would make some beautiful, fall leaves to hang in the classroom. I’m planning to add this to my fall program! Thanks for passing this along.

  4. Leighann August 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Hi! I love this idea…I was just curious, once it dries (on paper), is it still very sticky? Thanks for sharing!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 21, 2012 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Hi Leighann,
      I don’t know the answer to that question. I didn’t save my paper so tonight, I painted another paper with my leftover Skittles to see what happens. I will come back here and update this comment tomorrow after the paper dries:)

  5. Susan August 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    Where can I find droppers like you used for the skittles paint?

  6. Vicky August 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Love this idea and what a great use for all that Halloween candy we will soon have lying around. Thanks, I just stumbled this! Vicky from

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 21, 2012 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the Stumble!

  7. Chrissy @ The Outlaw Mom Blog August 22, 2012 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Once again, you amaze with your awesomeness. 🙂

  8. Carrie September 8, 2012 at 12:26 am - Reply

    I am going to try this with my preschoolers 🙂
    Thanks for this adorable Idea…I will let you know how it goes 🙂

  9. Angela January 12, 2013 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this idea! I tried it with my preschoolers in the afternoon and they loved it! At a certain point as numbers go down we combine the four year olds with the twos and threes and all the kids had a blast! The parents seemed to like the project as well. We discussed how the paint was made, the different colors, guessed the scents, painted (they really enjoyed stirring and feeling the candies move at the bottom of the cups), and the kids explained to their parents why they would need to toss out their art. “Daddy, we painted with candy! But, you have to throw it away cause ants like candy.” 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. January 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      Yay! – what a smart group of kids you have. I am so glad you gave this a try and really extended the activity into so many types of learning! Well done!

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