Easy, Colorful Cornstarch Painting & Science!

Easy, Colorful Cornstarch Painting & Science!

- in Education, Parenting, Things to do

Have a blast painting with your little chemists and learn some science in the process. 

What you need:

  • 1 – 12 cup cupcake pan (or 2 – 6 cupcake holders)
  • 3 cups of cornstarch
  • 3 cups of water
  • Food coloring (with a minimum of the primary colors – Red, Blue, Yellow, our pack also had Green)
  • 1 whisk & a bowl

What you do:

  1. Mix the cornstarch and the water together in a bowl until there are no more clumps and it looks milky.
  2. Carefully pour the cornstarch mixture into the cupcake pans evenly.
  3. Then have fun creating colors by adding the food coloring and mixing with a whisk!


Below is approximately how many drops of food coloring we used in each cupcake cup for each color:

  • Red: ~ 4-5 drops of Red
  • Yellow: ~ 4-5 drops of Yellow
  • Blue: ~ 4-5 drops of Blue
  • Orange: ~ 2 drops of Red + ~ 4 drops of Yellow
  • Green: ~ 4-5 drops of Green (if you don’t have Green, you could use ~ 2 drops of blue + 4 drops of Yellow)
  • Purple: ~ 3 drops of Red + ~ 3 drops of Blue
  • Brown: ~ 2 drops Red + ~ 2 drops of Yellow + ~ 1 drop of Blue

What is Happening?

When cornstarch and water are mixed together, they form a mixture called a suspensionor heterogeneous mixture. The grains of cornstarch will gradually fall out of suspension and form a solid clump at the bottom of the cupcake pan. You will need to occasionally mix each color as the cornstarch comes out of solution in the water. So bring your whisk with you wherever you paint!

Let your kids help you measure out the water and the cornstarch for some math practice! Or let them help you count and record how many drops of food coloring are needed to create each color!

*Do not pour this mixture down your drain, it could clog your pipes

About the author

Kristen Antosh
A Cincinnati native, Kristen is an engineer by trade, a writer by love and a wife and mother by fate. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor of science in materials science and engineering. She held engineering positions in both the automotive and medical industries before taking a break from her career to be a stay-at-home mother. She has lived in Northeast Ohio since 2013. Because of her engineering background and love for writing, she founded her blog, Momgineering the Future, to help parents and educators expose children to a wide variety of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities and programs. She also is a freelance writer who often writes for the Great Lakes Science Center. Besides STEM topics and writing, she loves gardening, baking, history and spending time with her family.

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