I’m a big believer in making learning fun; make it fun, you foster lifelong learners. I’m pretty sure that’s why I have a little chef, scientist, and artist on my hands. We have to set limits for where and when the experiments can happen though. For example stirring peas into your Juicy Juice at the dinner table is off limits. Since I have a little budding Marie Curie I decided to join two of his loves: experiments and espionage. Here are a few ideas for crafting your own invisible ink recipes.
- Use a white Crayola crayon to write a message on a piece of white paper.
- Paint over the message using watercolors and a brush. The message will reappear.
Why it works: The wax in the crayon acts as a resist. Any area colored with the white crayon will block the watercolor.
Ink Developed by Heat
- Use a Q-tip to write your message on white paper with juice. We used Juicy Juice apple.
- Let it dry completely.
- Expose paper to a heat source (sun, light bulb, iron). The message will appear as brown.
Why it works: The juice oxidizes when exposed to heat turning it brown. Experiment with other “inks” around your home. Milk, lemon juice, or other mild acids are great inks.
Ink Developed by Chemical Reaction
- Mix 1 part baking soda to 1 part water.
- Write your message using a Q-tip, toothpick or brush on a piece of paper. Let it dry completely.
- Paint grape juice concentrate across the paper with a brush or sponge. The message will appear.
Why it works: Fruit juices are an acid reacting with the baking soda. A different color appears wherever the secret message is written. Any chemical that weakens the structure of paper can be used as an invisible ink.
What makes your #UltimatePlaydate?
- Q-tips worked the best for writing. Paint brushes saturated the paper too much, wrinkling it as it dried.
- Stick the Q-tip directly through the straw opening. It will act as a squeegee on the way up and remove any excess juice.
- Ironing resulted the quickest results. (remember to have an adult do this part).
- Color Wonder pages are perfect for keeping little ones busy. My toddler loves being in the kitchen while I cook. This keeps him busy and safe and I don’t have to worry about marker or crayon mess everywhere.
- The Batik method makes a beautiful art piece to hang up after all the stenography is complete.
For more fun crafting with Crayola, checkout this fun paper making and collage activity. We love using Crayola Color Wonder for handprint art too.