A toddler’s perfect first paint

I thought it was time for Miss K to have her first painting experience. I planned only to give her one colour and I had to be able to handle her antics while cooking our dinner and dyeing silk. That means that it had to be ‘edible’ (though rather unlikely she would take to it with her current fussiness), fairly easy to clean up and quick to make


Miss K's first painting - eco paint

Miss K’s first painting – eco paint

I actually tried at first to use the coloured water strained from the blueberries I was using for the silk dyeing, but the colour was much too weak, so I had to go for reinforcement. As a second idea, I was going to use turmeric. As you can see, she was wearing a yellow dress, so stains wouldn’t be too much of a problem… except for her hands (how would I explain that one to my fantastically clean husband?). Cut a long story short, I found yellow food dye hiding in my spices drawer.

Toddler's first paint - non-toxic and easy to make

Toddler’s first paint – non-toxic and easy to make

I am willing to admit that I totally compromised on my usual crunchiness. This mystery food-colouring yellow was easy, quick and seemed like the safest option. I failed as organic-eco-super-mum, right? Pfft. Anyways. Jolly Jumper all the way, I say.

3 ingredient toddler paint

3 ingredient toddler paint

So the paint is easy. But you have to do it in the right order otherwise you’ll get something lumpy and interesting that is decidedly not paint.


Something to colour your paint


What to do:

1. boil your kettle while you…
2. Mix together 4 tablespoons of cornflour and enough water to cover it. You should be able to stir this mixture easily. Add a little more water if necessary.
3. Add your colour and stir through
4. Stir in boiled, steaming hot water and constantly stir until it is thick. Add more hot water if you want the consistency to be thinner.
5. Let it cool down so it is safe for little hands and then use.

Toddler's first paint - DIY

Toddler’s first paint – DIY

In the end Miss K found new paint colours in the earth around her.

Miss K's first painting - eco paint

Miss K’s first painting – eco paint DIY

It was a very quick activity. I think it will be a longer one as she gets older, but she had loads of fun all the same. I still have in the back of my mind that I will make this paint with plant colours. I’ll post our exploits of that if it works out.



2 thoughts on “A toddler’s perfect first paint

  1. Jo

    A friend set out coloured yogurt for her 28 month old child to ‘paint’ with. Very sensory. Very quick. It looked very popular.

    1. gosiawinter Post author

      Hey Jo, that is a great idea! I never thought of using yoghurt. I wonder if it would turn to moss if painted on a rock somewhere shady? I vaguely remember that being the way to encourage moss. Thanks!


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