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Fizzy Painting with Mixed: A Colorful Story

Helping children connect and engage with stories is a valuable component of the reading process. One way to foster connections is to tie a story to a related activity. This allows children to understand the story at a deeper level through experiences and connections in their own lives.

Fizzy painting is a great activity for kids of all ages that involves plenty of creativity and science. Children are able to explore chemical reactions and play with color mixing and design. We recommend pairing this activity with the book, Mixed: A Colorful Story, by Arree Chung. You can find it and other recommendations on our Bookshop page here.

This book tackles the difficult topic of discrimination but shines in an age-appropriate, fun and relatable way that makes it accessible for kids and a helpful tool in facilitating learning around diversity and inclusion.

Supplies needed:

  • Watercolor paper

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

  • Liquid watercolor

  • Pipettes (or straws)

Read: Before, during and after reading, we suggest asking a variety of open-ended questions that allow children to make predictions, inferences, and connections and also explore possible outcomes and messages. Here are some ideas for questions you may ask:

What story does the cover of this book tell? What does it make you think about?

What do you think this book is about?

How did you feel when the character…?

What do you think might happen next?

What do the characters want? How do you know?

What could the characters have done differently? How would that have changed the ending?

What was your favorite part?

Does this story make you think of anything that happens in real life?

What do you think the main idea/message of this story is? What have you learned?

Create: Before beginning the activity, we suggest activating children’s prior knowledge by asking questions about the ingredients you will be using, whether they know anything about what might happen when you use them together, etc. You can also encourage children to share what they know about mixing and creating colors. This allows for several different entry points.

Depending upon the number of kids and their ages, you may want to mix the vinegar and liquid watercolor prior to beginning. Only a few drops of liquid watercolor are needed. We recommend using a muffin tin for the three colors (red, yellow, and blue). The six sections help kids easily explore color mixing with the remaining empty sections (and this helps contain the mess!).

  1. To make a fizzy painting, children first spread out baking soda across their watercolor paper.

  2. Using the pipettes, they then squeeze and drop the vinegar mixture onto the baking soda covered paper. The chemical reaction occurs immediately by fizzing and changing colors. Children will be delighted!

  3. When all the desired colors have been added, lay out the paper to dry.

  4. Once completely dry, scrape the remaining baking soda off the paper and reveal the beautiful artwork underneath!

We hope you enjoy this colorful activity and incredible story!


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