Scratch and Sniff Painting

I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to art materials, so the thought of putting Kool-Aid powder in paint had me cringing on the inside.  I reminded myself that it was not about me and I just did it.  I started with dumping the powder into the plastic paint bottles and just shaking it up.  BIG mistake.  I don’t know what Kool-Aid is really made of or why anyone would drink this stuff into their bodies, but a powerful chemical reaction occurred.  I could feel the pressure inside the bottle, so I thought I could slowly open the top and let it out.  No.  As soon as any air could escape, ALL the air escaped along with the pasty blob that was formed from the powder.  And, it’s good to note that once you mix red washable paint with red Kool-Aid, it is no longer washable.  The best way to mix the paint is to dump the powder into a small bowl, add some water and spoon in some paint.  Mix it all together and watch it bubble.  It’s also quite the air freshener.  Move over Glade!

We got past the chemical reactions and bubbling and STRONG smells of artificial flavors to make it to the fun of painting.

Scratch and Sniff Painting

Carter is 3 years, 2 months old.

You will need:

Tempera paint
Kool-Aid in matching colors
Paint brushes, one for each color.
Watercolor paper


1.                Beforehand, mix Kool-Aid powder with tempera paint, matching colors.

Fun Friday: Scratch and Sniff Painting

Fun Friday: Scratch and Sniff Painting

2.                Cover a table with newspaper or paint at an easel.

3.                Show your child how to dip into color to be used and return the brush to that color to keep the colors bright and clean.

4.                Paint as long as it’s fun! Talk about the scents while your child paints, but remind him NOT to eat it.

Fun Friday: Scratch and Sniff Painting

5.                While the creations are drying, show your child how to wash the paintbrushes and place on a napkin to dry.

6.                When they are dry, rub the colors with your finger and smell.

Fun Friday: Scratch and Sniff Painting

Conclusion: The house smells like a candy store!  I was skeptical about what kind of paint Kool-Aid would make, but the colors turned out pretty gorgeous.  We decided to paint this as a family.  What started out as painting fruit (because of the smells), turned out as a playground.  I was reminded that, at this age, it is all about the process.  I really loved hearing Carter tell a story about the 3 of us playing on the playground as he guided his brush over the paper.  Priceless memories!

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