Learning Objectives: 

  • Investigation/discovery
  • Color theory
  • Painting/Design
  • Sensory


  • Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
  • Red onion skin or yellow
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea (loose or bagged)
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Any spices in your pantry
  • Any plants from outdoors
  • Small saucepan
  • Spoons/mortar & pestle
  • Small sieve


  • Small bowls
  • Soft watercolor brushes 
  • Watercolor paper or drawing paper
  • Paper towels
  • Water cups


  1. Locate a variety of items that you can mash to extract juice
  2. Some items such as berries can be mashed through a sieve 
  3. Grasses, flowers and onion skins can be boiled in a small amount of water -OR- ground up with water in a mortar/pestle
  4. Spices can be mixed with warm water as well and drained through a paper towel to leave behind the spice
  5. Coffees and teas can be made to a variety of strengths
  6. Once your “paints” are created and you have a variety of colors or values, create a painting of a flower, or your favorite pet using what you have.  Colors don’t need to be exact, and to layer or build up darker values of a color, let each layer dry in between (you can use a hairdryer!)

Watercolor paintings of catsHomemade watercolor paints