Food Color Bathtub Painting

 This was such a simple way of having fun, being creative, and learning colors in the bathtub: Food Color Bathtub Painting! It was super easy to set up and literally cleaned itself up 😉
 
We did some food color bathtub painting - lots of room for pretty paintings, and a super-easy clean-up!
 
(E was 2 years and 2 months old.)

 

You’ll need:

  • Bathtub (see additional suggestions below).
  • Water (optional).
  • Liquid food coloring.
  • Paintbrush (optional).
  • Scouring pad (optional).

 

 

 

We let the food coloring run down the slanted end of the bathtub.

This idea was actually E’s, she’d poured some powdered food coloring down the side of the bathtub on a previous occasion, giving it a canvas-like effect.

It worked even better with liquid food colors.

We did some food color bathtub painting - lots of room for pretty paintings, and a super-easy clean-up!

The cat loved it, too 😉

We did some food color bathtub painting - lots of room for pretty paintings, and a super-easy clean-up!

E painted with her hands

We did some food color bathtub painting - lots of room for pretty paintings, and a super-easy clean-up!

and with a paintbrush.

We did some food color bathtub painting - lots of room for pretty paintings, and a super-easy clean-up!

Then she washed it all off with the water she kept refilling the empty food color bottle with. That’s really the beauty of bathtub painting – the clean-up is so easy!

We did some food color bathtub painting - lots of room for pretty paintings, and a super-easy clean-up!

Then we started over with brown food coloring. The texture wasn’t as runny as with the blue and yellow colors, so it had a more opaque effect.

E tried a dry scouring pad to make marks in the food color,

We did some food color bathtub painting - lots of room for pretty paintings, and a super-easy clean-up!

then got it wet for a different look.

We did some food color bathtub painting - lots of room for pretty paintings, and a super-easy clean-up!

Again, our food color bathtub painting pretty much cleaned itself up just from E interacting with it.

We did some food color bathtub painting - lots of room for pretty paintings, and a super-easy clean-up!

But of course there was still more color left in the bottle that we couldn’t let go to waste – so E did more hand painting and made “chocolate” waves before she declared she was done.

We did some food color bathtub painting - lots of room for pretty paintings, and a super-easy clean-up!
 
 
We did some food color bathtub painting - lots of room for pretty paintings, and a super-easy clean-up!

 




What I learned:

  • The slanted side of the bathtub makes for a great canvas.
  • Bathtub painting activities are always great fun, very sensory and have a built-in clean-up procedure.
  • We’ve never had trouble with food coloring staining anything for more than a few hours {and that was my hands when I handled the heck out of wet purple baking soda} but it’s not unheard of for it to stain the grout, and it might also discolor a plastic bathtub. See the suggestions below for adjustments you could make.




Additional suggestions:

  • If you don’t have a slanted side of the bathtub, are worried about staining your bathtub, or if you try this in a shower tub, sink or similar, you could try a cookie sheet or large plastic cutting board for the paint to run down, straight into the water.
  • Use a different kind of paint to be more likely to avoid staining. We haven’t tried it but watered-down tempera comes to mind. So far, it has come out of EVERYTHING for us, and E sure puts it to the test on a regular basis.
  • You don’t strictly need to put water in the tub. Just put your child in the dry bathtub and let her paint away if you like, then turn on the water for the clean-up.

 

 

Have you tried bathtub painting? What supplies did you use? How did you like it? Let me know in the comments!

 

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