Sensory Goop Painting

This blog on sensory goop painting was originally published 1-23-14 and updated 11-8-23.

This goop painting activity is a creative painting idea that uses messy sensory play to build skills in a creative way. Pair this goop activity with one of our oobleck activities for more ways to foster skill-building through messy play.

You can add utensils to scoop and pour to build hand eye coordination, work on handwashing hands, or just be creative!

goop painting

Goop Painting

There are many sensory benefits of oobleck, and goop painting activities support those skills.

When you use goop painting as a therapy tool, you can support a variety of needs. Whether you are focusing on the tactile benefits listed above, or using the goop paint activity as a calming or alerting sensory medium, you can support regulation needs.

How to make Goop Paint

The goop paint that we used in the activity below actually used left over moon sand that we made using cornstarch and lotion.

The cool thing about “goop” is that as a sensory material, you can basically mix up any ingredients to get a messy sensory material.

To make this type of goop paint, use these ingredients:

  • 2 cups cornstarch (or baking soda or flour would work as well)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup glue
  • food coloring

To make the goop paint, mix all of the ingredients together. Use a spoon or craft stick to stir until they are combined.

You will need to adjust the ingredients, depending on the type of glue used and the type of dry material. You’ll want the goop mixture to be liquidly, but not too runny.

Then, you are ready to paint!

Paint with Goop

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  We don’t normally do holiday crafts and activities this far ahead, but our Valentine’s Day Goop Painting came about from a previous material…and it was so much fun, that I was excited to share, haha! This Valentine’s Day activity is perfect to add to occupational therapy plans this time of year.
Sensory Play is so much fun.  We do a ton of sensory activities, crafts, and play every day. 
Whether the kids are messing around in the sink, exploring textures in a bin of toys and “stuff”, or crawling under blankets and cushions…sensory play happens ALL the time in a child’s daily play.  Inviting a child to try new experiences like with this goopy Valentine’s day play activity is just another way to learn through play.
Valentine's Day Goop Painting

Valentine’s Day Goop Painting

You may have seen our Candy Cane Scented Moon Dough post back around Christmas-time.  That post turned into this Valentine’s Day Goop activity (and sensory-tastic painting fun!).   When we finished up that activity back in December, I saved the red and white (turned pink once we were done playing!) moon dough in a gallon sized baggie.  This was the perfect shade of pink for a Valentine’s’ Day themed sensory activity!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  

Valentine’s Day Sensory Activity

The powdered left-overs from our Candy Cane Moon Dough and a little water were all that we needed to make this goopy fun. 

We had about 2 cups of the powdered material…Check out the post here to see how we made it.  I added a half cup of water and got a nice goopy, messy, sensory texture to play with.  The peppermint scent was still really strong and when we were playing, Baby Girl said it “smells like candy canes, Mom”! 

I threw in a few (Amazon affiliate link) heart cookie cutters
and Baby Girl got to playing.  She liked to have a wet washcloth right next to her to wipe her hands off every once in a while.  This was some messy stuff!

We had paper and a felly roll pan next to the bin of goop and did some goop painting by stamping the cookie cutters onto the paper.  It was so meant to paint like this!  Baby Girl sat there for a LONG time stamping, and stamping, and stamping some more. 

(seriously…we had 14 pages filled with hearts!!)

Messy, sensory, goopy fun!
The goop made the heart stamps a big lumpy texture.  So much fun to stamp!  I joined Baby Girl and stamped a bunch of hearts too…

When the hearts dried, they were a pretty stamp.  However, this is not something that can be saved to decorate cards or hung on the wall.  The hearts flaked away if you touched them.  Maybe a little glue added would help to preserve these pretty hearts?  We’ll try that next time!

Let us know if you try this activity.  We would love to see your play in action!


Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

goop painting with pink goop and cookie cutters

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