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.
There are many sensory benefits of oobleck, and goop painting activities support those skills.
- tactile discrimination
- tactile tolerance
- tolerating messy hands
- sensory touch activities
- tactile defensiveness
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 Goop Painting
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!!)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.