Sensory Activity: Washable Window Painting
Paints and I have a love-hate relationship. I love watching my kids paint because they have so much fun and I can see how out of all the ways to draw, they love using paint the most. The dipping of the brushes into the paint and then washing the paint off the brushes with water, and how with several waves of the hand, color splashes all over the paper … what’s not to like? Oh wait a minute, THE MESS. Paint ends up on the carpet, the dog, the kids’ hair, the clothes … everywhere! The “perfection mom” in me is screaming “let them do it! Messy play is wonderful for their development!” while the “realistic mom” in me is yelling “you are never going to get that purple out of your carpet!” ARGH.
Then in my quest to let my kids participate in messy play without destroying the house or my sanity, I came across window painting. The idea is to let your kids paint as if they are painting on paper, but on your windows! From outside! This way you don’t have to worry about getting any furniture permanently stained or your kid throwing paint across the room. Genius!
Making window paint is simple. All you need is 3 ingredients:
- Paint (we used Crayola Tempera Paint)
- Dish soap
- Flour or cornstarch
I first put some paint into plastic cups (you may want to mix together different paints to create your own colors) and added the dish soap and flour. The beauty of this recipe? You don’t have to be exact about how much paint versus soap versus flour you use! We are not baking, people! The flour or cornstarch thickens the paint, so how much you add depends on how runny you would like the paint. I used about 1:1 ratio for the paint and dish soap and then just incrementally added a sprinkle of flour here and there until I felt like the paint was the right consistency.
The kids were too excited for me to lay out the paints for a gorgeous picture, so here is one I managed to snap without any little hands in there, trying to dip their brushes in the cups:
Off they go to paint! I told the helicopter mom in me to shut up and take a hike, and I just sat back and let my kids go at the windows. The soap really is the magic in the window paint. It allows the paint to be washable, so I don’t have to worry about the paint dripping all over their clothes, the door frames, the floor, etc. They had so much fun trying different colors and different brushes. And guess what? They didn’t even fight a single time. Can you say, MIRACLE?
I knew the window painting was going to be a hit. What I didn’t anticipate was how much fun cleaning up was going to be. I gave them spray bottles and water guns and let them wash the windows. They loved watching the paint come off as they shot their creations. At the end, I took out the water hose and all the paint came off easily.
If you are looking for an easy sensory activity, try window painting! There are many “Pinterest-worthy” activities that I have tried and regretted it immediately after, but THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM. I will definitely be doing this again … and again … in the future!