Snow painting is easy, requires very little preparation and can keep the kids outside in the fresh air for a while. It's also an activity that the whole family can do together.
- Gather Necessary Items
At the very least you need yellow, red, and blue food coloring, and three spray bottles. If the kids want to do more than paint with spray colors, you may also want to gather some plastic bowls and brushes.
- Prepare the Spray Bottles
Fill the spray bottles with cold water. (Hot and even warm water could melt the snow too much.) Add a few drops of food coloring to the bottles so that you have one bottle of red, one of blue, and one of yellow water. Be sure that the bottles have enough coloring in them to make the colors visible once they are sprayed on the snow. (You may need to test the colors the first time you mix them.) Although you need only three colors, you can have more if you want them (see tips #1 and #4).
- Send the Kids Out to Paint!
All the kids need are their spray bottles -- and their imaginations and creativity. You can show them how the spray bottles work and have them test the way the colors mix to create other colors. They may end up doing nothing but experimenting with the colors! They may also want to create artistic abstract designs or they might want to create simple drawings.
- Take Pictures!
This is really an optional step, but you're sure to want pictures of the paintings the kids created as well as some pictures of them as they are creating the paintings. (You might even want to put pictures of some of their creations in a portfolio of their work.)
- Buying Food Coloring
Food coloring is available at most, if not all, grocery stores. Nothing more than the basic, primary colors are needed. If your kids are older and more artistic, you might consider getting food coloring from stores that sell cake decorating needs. You can find a much wider array of colors, including red and black that are impossible to create with the typical food coloring found in grocery stores.
- Spray Bottles
The spray bottles you need are nothing more than the kinds of spray bottles that contain window cleaning liquid. These kinds of bottles are available at discount department stores like Target, Wal-Mart, or K-Mart. You can also often find them at many drug stores. They are made of plastic and are quite inexpensive. The more you get, the more colors your kids can work with, but only three are necessary.
Brushes are completly optional for snow painting. You might not want the younger children to use brushes since they need to dip the brushes in bowls of water and the water could spill on them, getting them wet and cold. Another thing to consider with the brushes is their size. Brushes used for painting in water colors on paper are probably too small. Small paint brushes used for painting around trim on walls is probably a good size. You could go a little smaller, but if they're too small, it will be hard to see what was painted.
- Mixing Colors
When kids spray the primary colors on top of one another on the snow, they should see how the colors mix to create other colors (red and yellow make orange, for example). However, the kids can mix the colors ahead of time and even have spray bottles with the extra colors they mix. Just be sure to buy enough spray bottles if you want to do that. Alternatively, the kids can experiment more with the colors when they come back inside -- assuming they have any colored water left in the bottles!
What You Need
- Food coloring
- Spray bottles
- Small plastic bowls (optional)
- Assorted brushes (optional)