Paintsicles (Painting with Popsicles)

By Nicole Welch


I have to be honest, I am not a huge fan of summer. I know this is an unpopular opinion. I don’t like the heat. I’ve never been a pool or beach person. I prefer to be slightly chilly while swaddled in comfy warm clothes. But here we are. It’s June. The summer heat is in full force and the mosquitos are feasting on my sweet family of four. There is one thing about summertime I LOVE… POPSICLES! So when I am feeling overly grumpy about the endless southern summer stretching in front of me I head to the freezer for some cool and tasty relief. Popsicles also have a way of magically “chilling out” my kids when they are in full spaz-mode.


Recently I was looking for some fun summer activities for my two kiddos and was super psyched to discover “recipes” for paint popsicles! Score!


This week we tried out two different methods of making “paintsicles” AND made our own edible tiny popsicles for an extra special treat.




Here is what we learned...


Method 1: The Tempera Paintsicle


Supplies:

  • Silicone Ice Tray

  • Popsicle Sticks (I cut mine down a bit)

  • Tempera Paint

  • *Water (you can dilute a little with water or not- I did not dilute)

  • Thick Sturdy Paper (we used watercolor paper)

Instructions:

  1. Squirt your paint in the silicone sections (about ¾ full)

  2. Place popsicle stick in center of each section (thicker paint will keep it straight, the stick will flop over in thinner paint)

  3. Freeze for several hours

  4. Peel the silicone off each paintsicle (don’t pull by the sticks they might break off) and place in a container (a muffin tin to keep the colors separate would be ideal)

  5. Take outside to paint!

  6. Don’t forget these will melt so use a tray for paper painting or cover your work space!


Parent Tips:

  • The tempera paintsicles definitely took awhile to melt and my kids got a little frustrated that they weren’t more “paint-like” right away. Consider letting them soften a bit before you start painting.

  • Though most tempera paints claim to be washable- some colors just don’t come out of clothing- so dress for mess!

  • Consider setting up some large cardboard shipping boxes for kids to paint and build a city or cool outdoor sculpture!


Method 2: The Food Coloring Paintsicle


Supplies:

  • Silicone Ice Tray

  • Popsicle Sticks (cut them down a little)

  • Food Coloring

  • Water :)

  • Thick Sturdy Paper (we used watercolor paper)


Instructions:

  1. Squirt 10-15 drops of food coloring into each silicone tray section

  2. Fill each paint section with water (about ¾ full)

  3. Place popsicle stick in center of each section (they will flop over and that is ok)

  4. Freeze for several hours

  5. Peel the silicone off each paintsicle (don’t pull by the sticks they might break off) and place in a container (a muffin tin to keep the colors separate would be ideal)

  6. Take outside to paint!

  7. Don’t forget these will melt and food coloring will stain so use a tray for paper painting or cover your work space!


Parent Tips:

  • The food coloring paintsicles worked great right out of the freezer- they melt fast!

  • The food coloring stained our hands- so be prepared to have arty hands for a day or so and dress for mess.

  • This would be a great sensory painting experience for toddlers (even babies) since it is taste safe. But I would suggest using less drops of food coloring so your baby isn’t stained too much. :)


ANNNND The Juicicle


Supplies:

  • Silicone Ice Tray

  • Popsicle Sticks (can cut them down or leave long)

  • Juice (we used apple and orange juice)

  • *Optional- chopped up fruit bits (we didn’t do this, but it sounds like a super idea)


Instructions:

  1. Pour (carefully- I spilled a lot!) juice into tray sections

  2. Place popsicles sticks in each section

  3. Freeze for several hours

  4. Peel off silicone (don’t pull by the sticks they might break off) and enjoy!


Kid Verdict:

The apple juice juicicles were yummy but the orange juice ones were kinda gross.







***


About Me:

I am the mother of two adorable and curious kids ages 3 and 7. In my spare time, I lead art and craft programs for preschoolers. Over the last several years, I have led preschool art programs at the North Carolina Museum of Art and Follow the Child Montessori. I also host a monthly preschool art playgroup called Craft With Me at Craft Habit in Raleigh. I recently spent some time developing a camp-in-a-box kit for Craft Habit specifically for children ages 2-6. Check it out here! You can follow me on Instagram @yumamaraleigh for art and education tips for the young kiddos in your life.

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