If you’re like me, when you hear the words “edible” and “craft” in the same sentence you cringe just a TINY bit. Don’t worry, it’s a normal adult reaction. I believe it stems from the fact that since the birth of your beautiful babies you’ve been pulling things OUT of their mouths: toys, leaves, rocks, leftovers beneath the dining table….you get the picture.
Fear not. This super yummy kid’s DIY edible paint for cookies recipe masks itself very well as “frosting” as opposed to “paint.” Your toddlers and preschoolers won’t be confused, they will be delighted to mix up a few sweet ingredients, exercise their creativity, then dig in with nary a scold to be heard.
One of the best parts of this 100 % edible paint for kids is that it does truly engage all of their senses! Think of it as an introduction to royal icing without all the hassle of the eggs or vanilla. Another great benefit is you can enjoy this edible finger paint recipe again and again with kids of all ages. There’s something about sweet treats that we never outgrow!
What does edible paint teach toddlers and preschoolers?
Creating edible food paint is a priceless learning opportunity for young kids! It covers so many bases, you can feel really good about this great idea.
While your toddler or preschooler thinks they are simply playing or having a snack, there is a ton of behind the scenes learning happening.
Edible art and decorative painting teaches:
- Sensory exploration (texture, taste, smell)
- Language development (be sure to talk a lot throughout the activity)
- Fine motor development
- Hand-eye coordination
- Concentration and focus
How to Make Edible Paint Recipe for Cookies
- Small mixing dishes (1 for each color you want)
- Spoons (1 for each color you want)
- Clean paint brushes
- 1-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
- Gel food coloring
- Snacks to paint (cookies, fruit, rice treats, marshmallows, etc.)
- Divide sweetened condensed milk into small containers, one for each color you intend to make.
- Add food coloring to each container, stirring to reach desired color.
Tips for mixing primary colors:
To make purple: Make red first. Then, transfer half to another container and add blue until you get the purple you like.
To make orange: Make yellow first. Then, transfer half to another container and add red until you get a good shade of orange.
More Crafty Ideas for Edible Paint
There are lots of other ways to get creative with edible paint art! You don’t have to paint food. Why not try finger painting on a clean baking sheet or parchment paper?
Here are some other ideas:
- Let babies and toddlers get a little messy with edible finger paint by placing one or two colors on the highchair tray and letting the magic happen!
- Teach your preschooler about the magic of color mixing by introducing primary (red/blue/yellow) and secondary (orange/purple/green) colors.
- Dip pretzels or candy canes into the paint for sweet sticks of creativity.
- Choose a favorite book to share before/after the activity to tie in a theme (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…)
- Use the decorative paint for sweet, personalized gifts for holidays, back-to-school, or end-of-the-year to teachers, family and friends.