Little C loves berries. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries, she loves them all. Unfortunately, since she eats such a wide variety, we don’t always get to use them all before they start going bad. Fueled by the massive quantity of berries that were about to go out tomorrow for trash day, and a challenge on Instagram to get creative with food, I thought, why not make art with the left over berries!?
How to Prep the Berries
I placed three different pots on the stove, and tossed in Little C’s old raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries, with just enough water to barely cover the berries. I didn’t really measure anything, but if I had to guess, I would say I had somewhere between a cup, to two cups of each type of berry. I brought the berries, and water to a slow boil on medium heat. After they started to bubble, I mashed the berries, and simmered them for five minutes. When the timer went off, I turned the burners off, and did some dishes while everything cooled.
When I got back around to the berries, I grabbed three glass spaghetti jars, and some masking tape to label each jar, just so I knew which one was which, and I could tell Little C which berry she was painting with. I used a metal strainer, and a plastic funnel, to separate the smashed berries, from the water, which was now a beautiful berry color. I then put the smashed berries aside in three separate plastic bowls, because I figured it would be a fun sensory experience for Little C to rub the berries around on paper.
Now comes the berry fun part. See what I did there? I think my dad’s corny jokes are rubbing off on me. After prepping my berries, I grabbed my berry juice, bowls of smashed berries, three large paintbrushes, and a muffin pan. I spread out my shower curtain liner, placed all my materials I just mentioned on the shower curtain. Then I grabbed a cookie pan, and some watercolor paper. I always place Little C’s paper on top of a cookie sheet, one at a time, and help her switch out papers when she is ready to move on to the next paper. This helps with clean up later, and the cookie pan catches any wayward art materials. Using a cookie sheet also gives a young artist clear boundaries, and keeps them from going way off the paper. I used to have a big problem with Little C getting very crazy, and painting way off the paper, until I placed a cookie sheet under her paper.
I poured the berry juice into the muffin pan for easier access, It was kind of like painting with liquid watercolors, except they had a berry scent.
First little C just had fun exploring the berry juice with paintbrushes.
Then I brought out the bowls of mashed berries, and asked her if she wanted to smear them all over the paper, and make a mess.
I could tell she still wasn’t done having fun, so of course I pulled out our plastice pipettes (eye droppers). Little C loves playing around with different tools, and art techniques.
This was such a unique experience, I am definitely glad I didn’t just throw out the berries. Have you ever created art with food? I’d love to hear of other creative food ideas.