Since last year, I have been holding on to these empty trays, trying to come up with a good use. I've also been saving the dried out markers to make liquid watercolors, and have been working on a way to turn these liquids into re-usable solids that can refill the empty trays. After many trials and plenty of errors, I finally nailed down a recipe that I was able to use as an interactive and engaging STEAM activity with my fifth grade that would help cut down on our plastic tray waste and get us some fresh and fun colors.
I started with this recipe and then tweaked it to work with the supplies available in my country and my classrooms needs. Below is the recipe with tips, downloads of the observation and instruction sheet for students, photos of the science in action, as well as photos of the finished products.
Ingredients (per 1 watercolor tray):
- 2 TBSP baking soda
- 1-2 TBSP white vinegar
- 1-2 tsp glucose syrup (corn syrup)
- 2 TBSP corn flour (corn starch)
- eyedroppers of homemade liquid watercolors (or food coloring)
- empty watercolor palettes - even ones that still have bits of paint left!
-Sticks or spoons to stir
-Bucket for mixing