Keeping the Kids Busy: Exploding Paint Bombs

“Today,” I announced to my boys, “we are going to make paint bombs!”

“That really EXPLODE?” my youngest asked.

“Yes, exploding paint bombs.”

“Mommy, you are the awesomest.”

I’ll take that compliment to make up for the times my boys tell me I’m no fun because I make them go to bed before midnight.

Exploding paint bombs was our project this week: as part of a quest to do one art project or science activity with them each week. The catch is that I’m really not very crafty and I don’t want to have to use fancy supplies in order to do these projects.

easy summer activities

Exploding paint bombs was easy enough and you probably already have everything(or almost everything) on hand. There’s even a easier way to do this(without paint), so I’ll tell you both ways and you can decide how ambitious to be.

summer activities for kids

Exploding Paint Bombs


  • sandwich bags(any brand, as long as they zip sealed)
  • paper towels (cut into 1/4s)
  • vinegar
  • baking soda
  • warm water
  • measuring cups/spoons
  • bright colored paint or food coloring (optional)
  • spoon (if using paint)
  • butcher paper (optional)


  • If using paint, then lay down a long sheet of butcher paper or other art paper for the mess. In either case, this should be done outside.
  • Cut a paper towel into 4 squares. You’ll need one of these squares for each of the exploding paint bombs.
  • Measure 2 tablespoons of baking soda into the center of a square.

easy crafts

  • Fold the top down, the bottom up, and the sides in to make a packet.

outdoor crafts

  • Measure 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup warm water into the ziploc bag.

summer crafts

  • If adding color: squirt a little bit of paint or food coloring into the liquid mixture and stir to even out the color. We went with paint because I thought maybe we could make a bright modern mural on the butcher paper if we used the paint. It doesn’t quite turn out that bright once it explodes, but my boys liked it better with the colors and talked about how the colors were mixing on the paper to make new colors.

boy crafts

  • Add the baking soda packet and quickly zip up the bag. It has to be completely sealed so don’t skip that part in the interest of time. You do need to zip it quickly, but you do have more than a few seconds, so take the time to zip it up tight.

crafts for boys

  • Gently toss the bag onto the paper (or out into the yard) and watch it grow and then POP!

Do you have an easy craft or activity to share? I’d love to have you guest post this summer! Email me for details.


  1. says

    Awesome! My kids have been asking me to do science experiments and crafts as soon as school is out (this is the last week for us) and I’ve been struggling to come up with ideas. We’re definitely trying this one this week. 

    If you’re looking for a fun game, we played water balloon angry birds last year. Fill balloons with water, draw Angry Birds faces on them. Then draw ‘pigs’ on the drive way with chalk, stand back and ….bombs away.
    Deb recently posted..Memories captured: Our very first 5KMy Profile

    • Shell says

      This is an easy one for sure! 

      I’ll have to try that with the angry birds- my boys would think that was cool! 

    • Shell says

      Donut might think the “pop” is cool- you can always just try without the paint- it’s pretty neat to watch. 

    • Shell says

      It’s not super bright b/c the paint is diluted with the vinegar and water- but it still looked cool. 

  2. says

    Oh, now this sounds fun! My kids love mixing vinegar and baking soda…. and anything that explodes gets 2 thumbs up from my son — Thanks for helping me become a “fun mom” some day this week!
    OneMommy recently posted..Blogging on VacationMy Profile

  3. says

    This is AWESOME! I am totally going to do this with my kids. I bet even Nico would join in since even older boys love things like this. Great idea! BTW, I love the thought of crafts for the uncrafty. :)
    AnnMarie recently posted..Summer Fun PromisesMy Profile

    • Shell says

      And you could put him in charge of sealing up the bags and tossing them. :) 

      I’m so NOT crafty. I like to do projects with the kids, but I can’t do the super elaborate. 

    • Shell says

      My boys have been asking to do it again- though it needs to stop raining here long enough to get back outside!