DIY Puffy Paint Toddlers & Parents Will Love

I’m all for finding and testing new ways to make paints with my 22 month old and puffy paint is no exception.

Why use puffy paint when you already have ‘regular’ paint at home you may ask? What I love about the puffy paint and the initial reason why I was drawn to this fun activity is the 3 dimensional effect of the paint.

As we all know our toddlers are curious little ones and they really enjoy discovering new things to play with.

This special kind of paint is just as enjoyable for us parents too and feels like a mini science experiment for kids.

Seeing my little girls mesmorised face as she saw the special 3D effects of the puffy paint makes the creative activities like these all that more worthwhile.

If you have a mouthing toddler that loves nothing more than still putting everything in sight in their mouth then you could try our Toddler-Friendly Paint recipe instead.

puffy paint

How To Make Puffy Paint

The basis for making the puffy paint is very very simple and the 3 ingredients used are generally always the same. After trying and testing many recipes I found that the quantities were far too big for my plans whilst using the paint. The following quantities worked perfectly for us.

What You Need:

  • Two scoops of universal glue (I used an old powdered baby milk scoop)
  • Two scoops of shaving cream 
  • Food colouring (As much or as little as desired)
  • Small containers to put puffy paint
  • Paintbrushes ( We have the IKEA Mala paint brushes which we love)
  • Painting apron (optional)


  1. Mix universal glue and shaving cream into the paint container and stir well. 
  2. Add a good squeeze of gel food colouring to the mixture to get desired colour. If you would like more vibrant colours simply keep adding more of the food colouring.

Puffy Paint Activity & Set Up

I always try to get my little one involved in the set up of the activity because I believe that they can have just as much fun in the preparation than during the main activity.

Let’s not forget the tidying up part of the activity at the end too!

  1. Due to the spring feeling in the air over the past few days here in Italy, I was inspired to use pastel colours (green, lilac, pink) and create a flower drawing for our optimism for the upcoming better weather.

 I drew an outline of two flowers on an A4 piece of paper. Another option could be finding a design online and printing it out if art isn’t your forte. As you can see below it isn’t mine either but our little kiddies won’t know the difference.

I coloured one of these flowers using crayons with the colours we had created for the puffy paint.

My aim was that my daughter may copy the positioning of the colours. We started oh-so well but then decided to go slightly abstract with our painting.

  1. Puffy paint is perfect for creating paintings such as sheep, clouds, snowmen.

Have you got the image yet? Think of something fluffy and squishy and the puffy paint is ideal.

Even better that it can be used for activities all year round from Christmas to summertime activities!

We love using these drawings as large flashcards for learning first words when finished with the activity and the puffy paint is dried.

  1. You really could quite simply give your toddler a cardboard box or a piece of paper, their paint brushes and the puffy paint and they will have lots of fun creating their own pieces of process art.

Using a sponge and puffy paint together are a wonderful combination! We also added some earbuds/ Q-Tips to use as a painting tool.

Reminder: Preparation is key! Cover all objects nearby and the floor to avoid any stressful moments while our toddlers are playing and we can catch a few mins to sit down and watch too!

Our puffy paint process art started with small splodges of paint on the box and ended in feet painting by the little artist.

Check out our fabulous Low Mess Process Art For Toddlers and Rain Boot Printing Process Art articles too to give you some great inspiration.

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