I am constantly looking for ways to reduce waste and simplify our life at home. Maybe I’m a little too determined. If I had things my way, we would probably be living knee-high in a collection of recyclable materials. Unfortunately there are not enough hours in the day to see all my ideas through and thankfully my husband is there to ensure that we do not become hoarders. Of course that doesn’t mean I don’t try to be resourceful within reason.
Beets are something we eat quite a bit of in our home. We love snacking on boiled beets with a splash of vinegar and salt or incorporating them in a meal like this side-dish of Swedish Beetroot Salad I posted some time ago. One of my favorite things about beets is their deep magenta hue. I imagine there was a time, before synthetic dyes, when beets were used to naturally color everyday items and it makes me feel guilty to throw away such a beautiful by-product. I have experimented painting with beetroot juice many times but this was my first time sharing this experience with my son who has finally learned to wield a brush (as good as any toddler will). The last time I boiled beets, I stored some of the juice in a mason jar in the fridge and saved it for a rainy day. My favorite part about this activity is the fact that this paint is completely natural. My son can snack on beets and even take a lick of his “paint” and I would have no qualms about it. This activity is perfect for a rainy indoor day but you can also take it outdoors if you want to spare yourself preparing for the messy aftermath. All this is to say: If you boil beets, don’t throw out the juice. For this activity here’s what you’ll need:
- paper, preferably watercolor paper
- small paint brushes
- beetroot juice ( to make it concentrated, simply microwave in a small container to evaporate the water)
- glass of clean water
- fine salt and course salt
- old newspaper or something to protect your work surface
My son was ecstatic about pouring salt all over his painting (consider that he’s been attempting to dump salt out since he turned 18 months) but what he doesn’t know is that we were actually practicing a legit water color technique that I learned from Inkstruck Studio. As you can see this activity not only kept my toddler entertained but was a good learning exercise for me too. If you enjoy watercolor painting or hand lettering, you definitely could get something out of this activity if you plan ahead. Here’s a really good video tutorial that introduces basic watercolor and hand lettering techniques if you are interested. If you do try this activity be sure to share on Instagram and tag us @thecozyhomechronicles 🙂
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