Microwaveable Puff Paint

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Microwavable Puff Paint is a fun STEM art activity that is easy to create with items from your kitchen cupboards. Inexpensive and easy art and craft activities are often the ones that will entertain your Little Feet for longer periods of time. Or at least I have noticed over the years that this is the case for mine. Especially when sensory parts are involved and surprises at the end.

Puff paint is a broad term as there are many ways you can recreate a ‘puff paint’. To name a few non microwavable versions - shaving cream & glue based or even a whipped cream version too. These particular versions are very much sensory based, inviting the Little Feet to touch and experience the moment not just with their eyes but hands too. This microwavable version is slightly set apart from those ones. It is more of a step by step process watching your material literally transform into something else through the application of heat. Your flour paint will go from liquidly masterpiece to a solid one.


Teaching your Little Feet a little science while having fun

How does it work?

The key ingredient to this art experiment is the self-raising flour as it contained baking powder. Baking powder, like bicarbonate soda is a leavening agent. When baked into bread and pastries it is the ingredient that helps it to rise. As heat is applied to it, it produces carbon dioxide when the flour mixes with water. The salt you add in with the flour and water further encourages the bubbling of the ‘paint’. This is why cakes and bread, when made and baked correctly are light and delicious - because they are full of little air bubbles created by carbon dioxide.


What you will need:

  • 1 cup Self-Raising flour

  • 1 cup of water

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Food colouring

  • Microwave

  • White card - needs to be thick, printer paper will not work.

  • Paintbrushes or earbuds



  1. In a bowl mix the flour with the water and salt. Combine until there are no lumps or bumps.

  2. Decide how many colours you might like to use and gather that many bowls.

  3. Separate the flour mixture into these bowls.

  4. Add a different colour to each bowl using your food colouring and mix to spread the colour completely through the mixture.

  5. Get your card and paintbrushes/ ear buds out. Begin to paint. Remember the more mixture your have on your card the better it will turn out once it goes into the microwave.

  6. When your Little Feet are happy with their creations, bring their attention to how liquidy it is.

  7. Then gently lift up their work and place in your microwave. Shut the door and microwave for 30 seconds.

    Warning: Never leave the microwave while this is happening and it should always be done with an adult. Make sure not to leave it in for longer then 30 seconds.

  8. Get your Little Feet to open the door and take their work out and watch their eyes widen as they see that their paint has gone from a liquid to a solid.


Something to remember - once your masterpieces are dried, cooked and cooled leave them under something otherwise they’ll curl up like pasta! Something we discovered with dismay when we did this. Still all was not lost as it was quite fun to crunch all of the hard flour paint like squashing crisps.