Last week I wrote a post about painting with food, and included the fact that Lincoln kept trying (successfully) to eat the finger paint. He desperately wanted to be part of the action, but was limited because I could only keep him from ingesting paint for so long. After a couple minutes I had to remove him from the painting process and he became an audience member instead. A really upset audience member. Luckily, Becky came to the rescue! She suggested I mix yogurt and food dye together so Lincoln (and I!) could more thoroughly enjoy the artistic process. Clearly, he was in complete enjoyment!
I imagine any yogurt would work just fine. We had Chobani Greek Yogurt on hand. It's a thicker yogurt and absorbed the color nicely. As the non-yogurt eater in the family, I didn't realize there were chunks of fruit in the "paint" but it made it all the more fun and yummy for the kids. They'd paint a little, snack a little, paint a little more, then snack a little more. Our 15 month old definitely ate more than he painted! Lincoln was even sucking on the paint brush, which I pray was completely cleaned off from the last art project?
Now, I'm pretty well subscribed to the natural movement, so I was a smidge squeamish to use regular old food-dye, but I figure every once in awhile it's fine. I am interested in using a natural food coloring for the future, because I definitely plan on doing this project again. In search of a food dye without artificial ingredients, I came across a couple companies, Color Garden and Confection Crafts, that offer natural options. I definitely plan on ordering food dye from one or both of these sites. Reviews, however, noted that natural food dyes often result in dull colors, but I'm fine with that in exchange for a healthy option.
For the DIYers, check out information from Nourishing Joy and Growing a Green Family on how you can make your own food dye at home. I don't plan on putting in this much effort on a regular basis , but it would be a fun experiment and learning experience for the kids to make their own dye at some point.
For our yogurt painting, I gave Lincoln and Addie each a 5.3 oz. cup of yogurt. I divided Lincoln's into two, adding one drop of gel dye to each bowl. I divided Addie's into three bowls, and also used one drop of coloring for each. I used the food dye we had in the pantry, Betty Crocker Gel Food Color, and the colors were definitely vibrant, as you can see on Lincoln's face =) This amount of yogurt entertained the kids for about 30 minutes--success! Addie's sopping masterpieces smelled pretty funky come morning and found themselves in the trash, but Lincoln's lightly painted "van Gogh" didn't smell at all and sits proudly on display.
Here's a little snippet of our yogurt painting extravaganza
What other fun ways can you think of to paint with yogurt?