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Magic Paper Towel Science Art


Magic Paper Towel Science Art


Last year I shared our magic paper towel science activity where you add colour to images you have drawn on kitchen towels by dipping them in water. You loved doing this with your own children and today I am here with another really fun, effective and simple art that my daughter absolutely LOVED! 

I love paper towel art and we also did this on Instagram too. Another fun and easy activity that you can enjoy using items you already have in the home. 

For this activity you are going to need paper towels again. Something I'm sure we all have in already which is always a bonus!

I will reveal all the exact items you will need at the end of the post. I want to wow you with the fabulous idea first. 


Magic Paper Towel Science Art


You will need to gather some coloured water together. I used a muffin tin to do this and there was plenty of water to do this activity. We had lots of lovely towels to get through too and still had lots left at the end. I used Wilton food colouring gel to colour the water. I honestly couldn't recommend investing in the gel any more! They last such a long time and you can use it in a range of sensory play set ups. 

I wouldn't buy any other brand now. 

You will need some pipettes to transfer the water effectively. If you don't have them and you're eager to do this activity you could use a spoon perhaps? If you are looking at buying a set I sell a jumbo set in my shop. They are perfect for little hands and come with a stand. They have been designed especially for children and get excellent feedback. They are a great tool for working on hand eye co-ordination and working the muscles in the children's hands.


Magic Paper Towel Science Art


This is how I set the activity up. We started with 3 towels and our tray of watercolours and pipettes. I used a light tray so the vibrant colours would really show up. 

Sometimes when you use a darker tray it can really drown out the colours so thats something to keep in mind. If you don't have a large white tray like this you could use a dinner plate


Magic Paper Towel Science Art


My daughter used the pipettes to spread the colours around the towels. The colours blended and spread across the surfaces revealing the pictures and patterns that I had created for her to reveal. 

It was such a satisfying thing to observe. I'm just glad that I had prepared a bank of around 20 of these designs because once she started she wanted to keep on going with them. 


Magic Paper Towel Science Art


How effective do they look? But how is it done? Keep on reading - all shall be revealed! 


Magic Paper Towel Science Art


Lets see this activity in action:




Magic Paper Towel Science Art


To create the magic pictures onto the paper towels I painted them on first and allowed the to completely dry before we added the watercolours. 

Once the colour hits the paint it runs off it and the colours explodes into the towel up until the white painted lines. It is such an effective activity. So simple and so fun to watch!


Magic Paper Towel Science Art


Step by step - 

Take some kitchen roll/paper towels that you use to mop up spillages and paint on them with tempera paint. I used the white paint from my children's paint stash and it worked a treat. 

Paint your designs. My tip would be to paint quite a few in one go. Get the children to paint too. They may choose to paint something in particular or mark make and create patterns. 

Wait until they have fully dried. 

Make up your coloured water. I used a muffin tray. You could use small dishes/bowls. 

Use pipettes to drop water over your dry painted pictures and watch the 'secret' designs come to life. 

Once the water fully soaks into the paper towel the original white paint will react to thins and become wet again. Be aware that if you leave the towels to dry on the tray surface they will dry and stick. They stick so much that it's impossible to remove without tearing the towels. The other option for drying would be to peg them up but because the white paint becomes wet again the colours will run and drip. 

This is a great process art experiment but it's not going to capture artwork to keep. 

So much fun! If you get round to doing this too I would love you to share it with me on social media. Tag me on Facebook or Instagram. 


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Other posts to check out on Learning and Exploring Through Play:


I love you to pieces Suncatcher Card    Melted Snowman Family    Rainbow Streamer Craft



Recycled Valentines Crafts for Preschoolers    Recycled Valentines Crafts for Preschoolers    Sensory Winter Play for Preschoolers




Mark Making with Kinetic Sand    Plastic Easter Egg Art Ideas    Space Themed Sensory Play Small World



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