For an easy summer art project, look no farther than your freezer! Just grab a bag of Popsicles or freezer pops, some cardstock, and perhaps some cookie sheets or large platters for younger hands to reduce the mess. You’ll also want plates—lots of small plates to house each color of Popsicle when you’re not painting with them. Then it’s time to paint with Popsicles—creating art projects to your hearts content!
But which Popsicles are best? We put several to the test, and here’s what we found, including our top pick! Be sure to check out our four tips below as well!
• Top Pick: Homemade Popsicles with Kool-Aid. The color on these Popsicles was most vibrant. We were also able to draw backgrounds and control more intricate shapes very well. Plus, the cardsotck dried quickest and didn’t seem to warp with this painting approach.
I scoured Amazon for the best deal for Popsicle molds, and here’s the ones I found were best (the ones I bought are no longer available): https://amzn.to/2XiBTSc
• Quickest Option: Freezer Pops. Freezer pops (we used a generic version of Otter Pops) provided a great element of fun in that they were super quick to create with, and the water droplets also allowed a creative way to “paint.”
• Twin Pops: Twin pops weren’t our favorite for drawing. The color was really light until they started to melt a lot, and at that point the liquid was hard to control. We’d stick with another option (though they’re delicious to eat!).
• Homemade Popsicles with food dye. Out of curiosity, we tried creating Popicles with water, sugar, and food dye. While it worked fairly well, we’d still opt for the Kool-Aid option since the color was a little more vibrant.
Top Tips for Painting with Popsicles
1. For non-abstract paintings, don’t use a background with twin pops. If you want distinct shapes with twin pops, don’t try to create a background color, such as sky or grass. The colors will bleed together. The same is true for objects with lots of intricate shapes; simply leave a small gap around the elements, like the flower and sun in the image below. If you’re using homemade Popsicles with Kool-Aid, no problem—they allow background drawing very well!
2. When using freezer pops, cut only a very small hole in the package. Doing so will give you more control when you paint.
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3. Experiment with different techniques. Don’t feel like everything has to be painted with straight lines. See what you can create with dots or splatters, like the image under "Freezer Pops" above.
4. Take pictures of the art before you move it. If you’re using twin pops or freezer pops, this type of art is best right after drawing with it. If you move it, there’s a chance it could drip and smear. And the longer it sits, the more the moisture will seep into the cardstock and won’t look as crisp (see the comparison of the images below). Consider the art at its best within the first few minutes of it being drawn. Again, this doesn’t seem to be a problem with the homemade Kool-Aid Popsicles, which were easy to move within a few minutes of painting.
Conversation Starter: Talking with Your Kids and Teens about Being Present in the Moment
Some moments and opportunities last for only a minute or two. It’s important to savor those moments or experiences by being present. (Just like the paintings are best for only a few minutes.) How can you better focus on being present in the moments you’re in?
Why This Matters
When creating art with Popsicles, it’s hard to achieve a perfect level of artistic precision—there’s just not that much control. So this is a great activity to focus on the artistic process itself—the fun of creation—rather than on feeling like you can create a great work of art. It’s an art exercise perfect for any artistic level!
Burger Flip is the perfect easy family game for barbecues, summer parties, and holidays. Families, children, and teens will all enjoy this printable game that has you flipping your burger to perfection. Simply print out the PDF, cut out your burger pieces, and grab a spatula, then you’re ready to play! Download the best printable game for your next summer barbecue!
Combine art with a classic science experiment with milk, dish soap, and food coloring in this fun art activity for families!