Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Scratch-n-Sniff Painting with the Small Fries

I discovered this idea over 3 years ago in the now-defunct Wondertime magazine.

I did what I always do when I see something I like - I cut it out. I put it in a pile. And I forgot about it.

Kinda like "Set it and forget it!", only not as productive.

As luck would have it, I recently unearthed this treasure, and just in the Old Man Winter nick of time.

It's a cheap project. If you already have watercolor paper, you're golden. If you don't have it, or if you have it but you don't know that you have it (like me), just clip the 40% off coupon for Hobby Lobby or Michaels and go grab some.

The only other thing you need is several packs of unsweetened Kool-Aid.

Mix each packet of Kool-Aid in a paper cup, along with 2 T of water.

Your kids will beg you to tell them what you are doing, but don't. It's more fun that way. And there's nothing pre-schoolers love more than being kept out-of-the-loop.

Next, assemble your still life.
As you can imagine, this was one of my favorite parts.

I drew a rough sketch of the bowl on each piece of paper, using a black Sharpie (you'll want to use permanent marker for this). Then we each drew the blue lines on our bowl.

Next, we set to work drawing. Some of us used more artistic license than others.

Calvin had an 11th-hour inspiration and added the snowflakes which still hang over our table.

He was so excited to have free reign with his "own" Sharpie that we could have stopped right here.

But that would have been a shame, because the paint is the whole point.

(How do babies get this cute? Well, that's another discussion for another day.)

The whole idea is to correspond the flavors to the actual fruit, but we threw caution to the wind and painted our red apples with cherry "paint" and our green apples with "lime".

*Gratuitous Fruit Shot*

We shared words about Calvin's propensity to take his paint right out to the edge. He's a regular Picasso with a hearty shake of Bob Ross mixed in. (Notice the pomegranate down in the "bottom" of his bowl...)

Ruby took the more literal route. Did me proud.

Voila! Scratch-n-Sniff art.

I'll be honest - this was fun, even for me. It kept the kids busy for nearly an hour and lightened up this crabby day.

Not ready to hang up our brushes, we went two bonus rounds. Then on to:
*dinner prep
* Thomas the Train
* bedroom time-outs, all around, 'til Daddy got home.

If only every hour were scratch-n-sniff painting hour.

But hey, at least we have the memories.

**I'm linking this up to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land and Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.


  1. Excellent! This might actually get my sensory seeking child to paint. you should post this on this Facebook page:


    Really, thanks for this!

  2. what a great idea!! the pictures are adorable too!

  3. I love love loved Wondertime... I am so sad it is no longer in circulation!
    Cute idea! We will have to try it!

  4. Shut the door.. I love that. My girls will probably take swigs of it while dipping their brushes in it. Great idea. Gotta love the Kool Aid.. I just think back to the commercials back in the day where the big Kool Aid pitcher would skateboard or do whatever.
    By the way, I made your tortellini soup and your Firehouse Chicken Enchiladas. Let me just say, I was a rock star in my house. You know I am not a leftover chick... wait a minute. I ate these leftover style and loved it. Thank you very much.

  5. What a great idea! Nothing better than being able to eat your paints...and not get sick, that is. ;o) ~mary~

  6. you had me at scratch-n-sniff.

    i'm bemoaning the general lack of kool-aid in this house, and soHELPme shannan, you are going to make me go over my grocery budget if i have to run back to the store to get some.

    (but for scratch-n-sniff? we'll just eat less next week.)

    btw...your photos are lookin' gooood, my friend.

  7. What a great idea! Quite the artists in your household!

  8. You have the coolest ideas! I'm (hand) cutting out my hearts for my heart wreath :) So excited! & your babies are super cute!

  9. Cute kids, cute project. And, just to clarify, when you say bedroom timeouts all around, did that include mom?

  10. I love this idea. Living in rainy Seattle I'm always looking for fun indoor art projects for the kids.
    We had a beautiful day today but it looks like the rain's on it's way. Now I'll have something for the kids to do after school.

  11. ah! i used to teach preschool--this activity would have served me much better than the frightening marathon sessions of finger painting i let go on. water colors are so much safer!

    your kids are beautiful! love calvin's face as he wields his sharpie. such power he's got. few preschoolers i know would be allowed to be near an open sharpie, let alone get to draw with one on their own! and he's much cuter than bob ross.

  12. This is an AWESOME idea!! I am going to have to try this too!

  13. This is the coolest thing I've ever seen. My kids are CONSTANTLY asking to paint something. Way to go for you!

  14. This is a great idea! My one-year-old isn't quite ready but it looks like so much fun!

  15. I am seriously going to save this idea! I teach preschool 2 days a week in the mornings (2 year olds) and can't wait to try this out.
    Your pics are lovely and...no....I don't know how babies get that cute!!!
    Just a fab post! Really great artwork too.

    Your fruit photo IS beautiful by the way;)


  16. I love this idea! I'm always looking for things to do with my 5-year old niece who loves crafting. The last time she was here we made Kool-aid play dough with glitter mixed in. Fun times!

  17. What a fun idea! I would have loved this project when my kids were younger. I also love your pictures and how you captured all the details of their art!

  18. I love that idea! I will have to try that with my boys...they aren't so much into art yet...but getting dirty with PAINT, they love that...so I will have to do this with them.

  19. Oh this is too cool of a project. LOVE IT!

  20. This is wonderful!!! I've got to try this with my two little darlings! Thanks for sharing.

  21. What a great idea! I may have to try this with my two, but when Ev is a little older - I think he'd paint my curtains right now - he's a wild man!

  22. What an awesome idea! My daughter loves any kind of art but I even think my 10 year old would enjoy this, thanks!

  23. What an uber cool idea. We're having a crabby WEEK around here. I think I'll sit Jim down with the Koolaid paint tonight.

  24. and voila! what a fun idea! Never heard this one before.

  25. what a great idea. and i love all their pictures too! :)

  26. great idea - i love it and I'm sure Brycey would love it too. Thanks for sharing. And those kiddos of yours did a great job :)

  27. i LOVE this
    your children are SO BEAUTIFUL
    great post!

  28. I miss those pre-school days. My husband would cringe if he saw this post however... for him, the risk of ginormous mess would be a risk he wouldn't want to take. :)

  29. Lovely idea and beautiful photographs. I have no idea how babies get to be that cute but i'm glad they do :-)

  30. I'm certain even my school-aged kids would love this project. Thanks for the great idea. And Calvin and Ruby are just too scrumptiously cute for words.

  31. I had never heard of this before. My kids will get a kick out of it. Thanks for sharing. Looks like your kids love it - - so many smiles!

  32. That's a fantastic idea! If the kids sneak a sip of paint, it won't even hurt them. My daughter would be the one to drink the paint, so I must think of things like this. They did an awesome job!


  33. What beautiful children and the scratch and sniff project was a great idea! Enjoyed my visit to your adorable blog!

  34. Shannan girl, this is SO cute. Your pictures of the kids are as edible as the fruit. I love it all so much it makes my belly ache. What a great idea! I can just smell it now!

  35. so, so, so, so cool! I'm definitely filing this one away.

  36. Cute idea! The Bitting house will have to give it a try. I'm sure my big girls would enjoy it too. Don't be surprised if you ever see me sneaking smooches on your kids cheeks...they look so kissable!

  37. Fabulous! Doing this VERY soon!

  38. Fantastic idea. I have to do this with my daughter Leila and her friends. They are going to love it!


  39. WOW great idea!
    I will try this with the youngest 3 of my 6 kiddos! I can hardly wait!
    I made play dough with kool-ade a few weeks ago.
    I posted the recipe on my main blog:
    The Garden Gate.


  40. This is an awesome idea!! I will definately try it, and pass it on to my niece who teaches 1st grade. She will love it too.

    I enjoy your blog, am very glad I stumbled upon it!

  41. oh! what a great idea! my kids will love it!thanks for sharing! i need to go get me some paper and koolaid!

  42. I love these! Every one a frame-able work of art.

  43. Ηi my lovеd onе! I want to ѕaу that this articlе is
    аmazing, gгеаt written and come with almost all signіficаnt іnfоѕ.
    I would liκe to look extгa posts likе this .
    Visit my web site loans for bad credit

  44. Please let me knoω if yοu're looking for a article writer for your site. You have some really great articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd really like to write ѕome articlеѕ for your
    blog in exchаnge foг a link baсκ
    to mine. Pleasе blаst me an
    e-mail if intеrested. Regardѕ!
    Here is my homepage : loans for bad credit