After reading Blue Chicken, children may have fun telling their own stories with paint – while exploring color and the medium of watercolor.

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Materials list:

  • Cardstock, watercolor, or other heavy paper
  • Liquid watercolor or other watered-down paint, or colored ink
  • Container
  • Plastic drinking straw
  • Paintbrush
  • Old toothbrush
  • Optional: plastic pipette or dropper
  • Newspapers & smock


  • This will get messy, so wear a smock and cover your table or floor with old newspapers.
  • Pour some liquid watercolor or watered-down washable paint into a container, and drop a large blob of paint on your paper using a dropper, pipette, large paintbrush, or the straw (if you want to play with capillary action).
  • Blow on the paint through the straw. Be sure not to suck the paint up through the straw!
  • Now add splatters with the paintbrush. Experiment making different splotchy patterns and shapes.
  • Use your old toothbrush (and don’t use it afterwards for brushing your teeth!) – while holding it in your fist, run your thumb over the bristles to create a fine, spray of paint.
  • And now you’ve made a splash!
  • (Note to parents and teachers: if you skip steps #5 and #6, this isn’t too terribly messy. Children have tons of fun just blowing paint through the straw.)


  • What happens when you blow through the straw – when you blow slowly? Fast? Did you experiment with changing the angle of the straw? How did that vary the resulting shapes and patterns of paint?
  • What happens if you add a second color? When one color bleeds into another, does it make a 3rd color?
  • How do the different tools create different effects?
  • Look at the forms you’ve created. Do you see anything in them?

What Next?

  • If you want to go a step further, add to your painting. Draw on it or glue things on – any bits and scraps you have around, like tissue paper, yarn, etc. If you want to get fancy, feathers, googly eyes, and glitter are fun too.
  • Tell a Story!
    • Who made this mess?
    • Where?
    • Why?
    • What happens next??