A fun way to encourage creative expression and build fine motor skills in preschool!

Puffy paint can be used to make almost any kind of drawing or collage and we enjoy bringing out the puffy paint every so often for the children to explore.

See our puffy paint in action!


On this occasion, we were talking about sunshine and sunflowers and used the puffy paint as a way to invite the children to make their own sunflowers.

How to Make Puffy Paint

Anytime we use puffy paint, we must first mix up a new batch because this type of puffy paint doesn’t stay good for very long. To make puffy paint we simply mix…

  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 tsp salt
  • Food Color
  • Water

Squeeze Bottles Work Best

For each color of paint, we want to make and then we pour each color in its own plastic squeeze bottle (purchased in the kitchen section at Walmart).

Choosing a Canvas

Although you can use puffy paint on heavy construction paper, the best canvas for a flour-based puffy paint is a piece of white cardboard so you can move the painted canvas from one location to the other more easily.

Drawing with Puffy Paint

The squeeze bottles make the puffy paint come out in nice lines so the children can use the paint for drawing different shapes and designs. Mrs. Courtney demonstrated how to use the puffy paint to draw a sunflower for our pre-k students and then invited the children to give the process a try on their own.

Once each child completed a puffy paint sunflower (or another creation of choice), then we put the piece of cardboard into the microwave anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds depending on how much puffy paint the child used on the canvas. The microwave quickly cooks the flour paint so that it dries out and stays puffy on the canvas.

Building Fine Motor Skills

Drawing with puffy paint invites the children to use the muscles in their hands to squeeze the bottles along with their self-regulating skills to regulate how hard to squeeze in order to make lines versus puddles on their canvas.

Eye-hand coordination is also being promoted as the children guide the squeeze bottles and the flow of puffy paint to draw their sunflowers…

Promoting Creativity

The children spent quite some time creating their sunflowers and most of the children chose to make more than one. We sent most of the puffy paint sunflowers home and kept some of the extras to decorate our room for a few days.

As already mentioned, puffy paint could be used to draw any kind of shape or design and my pre-k students really enjoy the challenge of drawing something specific (including their names) by the end of the school year.

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