Lately, I have been trying to think of various handicraft ideas, projects that are really practical for our Charlotte Mason style home school. I began to look ahead to supplies that we will need again soon and try to consider ways we can create them ourselves. Nature Study, similar to A Monarch Nature Study is done by going out and observing something in nature and then entering the observation in a Nature Diary. These entries are typically done using watercolors, so then I thought DIY watercolors would make the perfect handicraft.
If your unfamiliar with Charlotte’s perspective on handicrafts, below is a short list.
- They should not be employed in making utilities such as pea and stick work, paper maps, and the like.
- They should be taught slowly and carefully what they are to do.
- That slipshod work should not be allowed.
- The children’s work should be kept well within their compass.
–Home Education By Charlotte Mason pg. 315
I picked up a small slotted plastic craft container from the dollar store to use to hold our watercolors. However, you can reuse your old watercolor containers as well. What I love about these DIY watercolors is that they are all items you can find in your kitchen or pantry. Not that they taste very good but these watercolors could be considered edible therefore quite safe for little ones.
- Baking Soda
- Corn Starch
- Corn Syrup
- Tooth Pick or Popsicle Stick
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
For a full video tutorial you can watch the You Tube Video below.
An unintended science lesson occurred during our DIY watercolors. My oldest has mixed vinegar and baking soda together countless times so she is all too familiar with the reaction. However, my youngest is new to the bubbling and fizzing that takes place when these two ingredients meet. If your children are younger or haven’t yet experienced it, mixing baking soda and vinegar is a safe and easy introduction to chemical reactions.
Other talking points:
Explain that when you combine an acid and an alkali they react together to neutralise each other.
Discuss how vinegar is an acid and bicarbonate of soda is an alkali.
Explain how the reaction releases carbon dioxide gas, which is the bubbles you see while it fizzes.
It was a pleasant surprise to get a little science lesson out of this DIY watercolor handicraft. Now we are set for our home supply of watercolors, if we should run out we can always make more with what we have on hand. Honestly, I liked doing a handicraft and creating needed school supplies at the same time.
Do you think this DIY watercolor is a handicraft your kids would enjoy?