You and your children will enjoy painting with frozen paint on a hot summer day. Paint popsicles are fun for everyone and can lead to discussions about the water cycle God created to give us water, and how Jesus used water to teach something very important about Himself.
You’ll need a little advance preparation to freeze the paint, but once that’s done, dress in old clothes, grab some big pieces of paper, and head outside for fun and discovery!
Don’t miss the 2 sections at the end of this lesson that show how this art activity can:
- Help your children in other areas of learning:
- Help point your children to God:
- Tempera paint in assorted colors
- Small paper cups or old ice cube trays in which to make the paint popsicles
- Craft sticks or plastic forks or knives
- Large sheets of somewhat heavy paper, such as rolls of shelf or craft paper
- Large rocks or other weights to hold the paper flat
Hints for Clean Up:
- If you plan to paint on a deck, patio, or outdoors table, an old plastic tablecloth will protect from stains and speed cleanup
- A large plastic container such as an old dish tub is helpful to hold the paint popsicles until you’re done and ready to throw them away. The popsicles last quite a long time.
- In the ice cube trays or paper cups mix different colors of paint with a little water and freeze until slushy enough to hold up craft sticks or plastic forks. Then continue freezing until solid
- When you’re ready to paint, take the paint popsicles outside and let them begin to melt
- Turn your kiddos loose to choose their colors and PAINT!
More Helpful Hints:
- It’s difficult to say how much water to add to the paint because some paints are very liquid right from the container and others aren’t. Half water is probably too much. The following picture shows some popsicles I made with less water. They were brighter, but didn’t move around very smoothly. They were good for producing texture.
- Also, some colors, such as red are intense pigments and will still be bright with more added water than green or yellow, which can lose color with too much water.
- As always, be willing to experiment a little and try not to be a perfectionist. Your children will have fun even if some of the colors aren’t as bright as you’d like!
- If you made your paint popsicles in paper cups, let the paint melt a little before trying to remove them from the cups
- If the paper cup still sticks to the bottom of the popsicle, give it a little more melting time, then peel the paper away
- Place a paint popsicle on the paper in the sun and watch what happens as the ice and paint begin to melt. You can point out to children how the icy part begins to slide on what’s melting underneath. Somewhat like how glaciers move!!
- What kind of designs can you get if there’s a little incline?
This art activity can help your children in other areas of learning:
- This activity is called process art. It focuses on being in the moment, helping us relax and enjoy experimenting with the medium. We don’t need to worry about producing something recognizable.
- It can provide many fun moments of discovery with colors and materials
- It’s good for little hands that may not be able to hold and control pencils or paintbrushes yet
- The following activity can improve observational skills and vocabulary: explain the following Elements of Art, and have children find examples of these in their paintings.
Line straight; curved; wavy; zigzag; slanted; standing up; lying down. Introduce the more grown-up words diagonal, vertical, and horizontal only if your children are ready.
Shape formed by several lines. These don’t have to be exact geometric shapes—encourage creative descriptions
Space we call empty space negative space in art
Color cool and warm colors and complementary color pairs—red and green; blue and orange; and yellow and violet.
Pattern any repetition of shapes, lines, colors. I couldn’t find any patterns in my creations, but you could encourage these as your children paint.
Texture some paints produce a grainy texture you can see and feel
This art activity can help point your children to God: Why not make or buy some good-to-eat popsicles to enjoy while you talk about God’s wisdom in creating water—a substance necessary for life on this earth! And Our Savior, Jesus Christ who gives us living water for eternal life!!
Did you know?
- The water you drank today may once have been part of a big, gray elephant leading its baby to a waterhole in Africa or a blue and yellow macaw flying through the Amazon rain forest.
- Water is the most common substance on earth
- 80% of the earth’s surface is water
- Water is the only substance on earth naturally occurring in all 3 states-liquid, solid, gas
- When water freezes its molecules move farther apart or expand. So ice is lighter than liquid water and able to float—ice cubes in your drink or icebergs in the ocean.
- 75% of a living tree is water—think of all the water it takes to carry nutrients around a giant redwood tree that can be taller than the Statue of Liberty
- 66% of the human body is water—water carries oxygen and nutrients to our cells, it helps protect our joints, organs, and tissues, it keeps our temperature even, and carries away wastes
- A person can live about a month without food but only about a week without water
We and all creatures and plants need water to live! And yet, the same amount of water has been on the earth since God first formed the earth. But we don’t run out of water, because God, in His wisdom, created the water cycle:
- The sun’s heat melts ice to liquid water and evaporates that as well as water from ponds and lakes and oceans.
- This water vapor or gas rises high into the cooler air and condenses into a cloud.
Note about clouds: You’ve seen miniature clouds when boiling water produces vapor that condenses into a cloud of steam as it hits the cooler air outside the teapot. Or you’ve seen your warm, moist breath condense into a little cloud when you breath out on a cold winter day. And don’t forget about dew. It shows us there’s always water vapor in the air, which condenses on the cooler leaves or flower petals in your garden.
- From the cloud water falls to earth again as rain or snow or hail.
- In this cycle water changes from a solid to a liquid to a gas over and over again.
God was the first and best ever recycler!
Read Psalm 19:1-6 together. It tells of the general revelation of creation that we see all around us and points to a wise and loving God. Talk about other things in creation that point us to God, our Creator.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies [including the wonderful water cycle] proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
Read about the woman at the well in John 4, especially verses 13-14. The Bible is special revelation, and in these verses Jesus uses water to reveal something very important about Himself. Discuss how He is our savior who gives us eternal life.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Read also John 8:37-39a and discuss how the Holy Spirit lives in us and helps us live fruitful lives for our heavenly Father.
…. “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit ….
Molly hopes you enjoy painting with paint popsicles and learning about God’s wisdom in creating water and especially His love for us in Christ!!
Molly loves cool blues on hot summer days!
Molly and I also hope to see you right back soon for Another Fun and Easy Art Activity for Creative Kids!
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I liked how you explained “process art”! So much good information about clouds and water and God’s design and provision for all of us.
Hi Becky. Yes, in some ways, all art can be process art, but too often we get caught up in what the finished product will be. I think I do the same with my writing, often forgetting to enjoy the process of creating! Thanks for stopping by.
Cool, fun idea!
It was cool fun, for sure!! Thanks so much for stopping by, Jean!