Water Painting (Sink Play)

Here’s a great idea for when you need just a few more minutes in the kitchen, but you’ve got a toddler who is ready to play!

It’s an easy tip, but one that I hadn’t thought about since I was a kid.

When your toddler has had his fun washing his hands and playing in the sink, but you still need a few more minutes to prepare dinner or clean up, it’s time to bring out the food coloring!  Just a couple drops will transform your sink into a rainbow of colors. 

We call the result “painting in the sink,” and my little boy loves it.  When the first drops go in, they diffuse through the water in really striking patterns.  Then he puts his little hands in the water and swirls it around, creating turbulence.  It’s lots of fun to watch the water swirl around in new strings of color. 

When the fun starts to diminish, add another color to the sink and watch it happen all over again. 

Add a small plastic cup to the play for pouring action, or bubbles for some texture to the water.  Bubbles will cause the colors to soften, but it’s a fun way to add white to the red, yellow, green, and blue colors in the sink.

This game can go on and on, as your child mixes the colors into new hues.  Just periodically add another drop or two of food coloring, and it’s a whole new game! 

Older kids can be prompted to experiment with the colors too.  Try filling one glass with red water and another with yellow. . . can he make orange in the sink?

We love this game, because Widget gets to splash water, pour, pop bubbles, and paint all at the same time.  And cleanup is easy, as it all goes down the drain!

Visit Rocks in My Dryer for more Works for Me Wednesday tips!


6 Responses to Water Painting (Sink Play)

  1. Karen says:

    I love the idea of this! Do your kids wear an apron?

  2. Nikki says:

    My kids will absolutely go nuts for this idea! I’m going to try it after naps today. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  3. Q&Q says:

    I love this idea but I have a few questions (obviously I have a toddler and would like to try this).
    Is your child standing on a stool?
    This is the kitchen sink right?
    My peanut is tiny (was a preemie) so reaching the sink has been a problem even with a stool.
    LOL! Thanks for the great idea.

  4. whymommy says:

    Hi, everyone! It’s nice to see some new faces here — looks like participating in WFMW today was a good idea. (This was my first hint — glad you liked it!)

    To answer your questions — no, my little one doesn’t wear an apron. He’s 2.5 going on 12, so I have no idea how I’d get him to wear one, actually. We do have a special shirt for him to wear, an old button-up shirt that drapes well and looks “just like Daddy’s.” But it’s only necessary if you splash. (Ha ha — of course you splash! That’s the fun of it!)

    We have an old-fashioned solid wooden high chair that we pull up to the sink for sink play. I’ve also seen people use special standing towers — Kim, if you’re reading this, can you remind me what they’re called, for Q&Q?

    We do use the kitchen sink, although a clean utility sink or bathroom sink or even a baby tub and a pitcher on the floor would work just as well….

    Have fun — and come back and let me know how the kids liked it and what they decide to do differently!

  5. kailani says:

    I have a question. Does he use gloves? Doesn’t the food dye color his hands? Sounds like a fun idea!

    Here via Five on the Fifth

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