A set of droppers (or 'pipettes'), some liquid food colouring and a roll of paper towel were all we needed to set up today's colourful art activity.
I diluted the food colours, testing them to make sure they were still vivid enough, and put them in some little jars (I thought they would be less likely to be knocked over than the lighter plastic paint-pots - I was wrong! Fortunately we put down lots of newspaper on the table first - made cleaning up a whole lot easier). We gave each child a piece of paper towel and watched as they flooded them with colours. The food colouring looks very dark when wet, but when dry has a luminous quality much like watercolour.
A special thing about this activity is that it it involves learning to manipulate an instrument - the dropper - as well as observing the fascinating effects of putting liquid colour onto a highly absorbent surface. The colours bleed into each other, creating beautiful rainbow blobs, spots and blotches. It is just magical.
Here are the wonderful paintings the children at playgroup produced today:
And here are some details from the paintings: