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.

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  1. So fun! My preschooler would love this.
    Alison recently posted..Thoughts, and a RecipeMy Profile

  2. This is a genius idea. And totally within the bounds of my crafting/projecting making ability!

    You really are the awesomest.
    Tracie recently posted..Going Green With Your Old Blog Posts – It Is Recycling DayMy Profile

  3. This looks so fun!

  4. Ok, that’s awesome! I’m pretty sure BOTH of my kids (even the big one) would love this. 
    Adrienne recently posted..What I’ve Learned from HomeschoolingMy Profile

  5. That is super cool. I think my kids would love this! 
    Stacie recently posted..Zoe’s Room (No Sisters Allowed) – Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  6. 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

    • This is an easy one for sure! 

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

  7. I like this idea!! Adding it to my list of to do’s
    Krystal recently posted..Return of the Bucket ListMy Profile

  8. That is amazing! My girls like things that explode too so I will have to try this soon.
    Twingle Mommy recently posted..Girls Like to Wrestle TooMy Profile

  9. How fun is that? I’ll have to try that–maybe next summer though!
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..A Good Nanny is Hard to FindMy Profile

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

  10. Definitely doing this in a few weeks when I have extra kids in tow!
    Single Mom in the South recently posted..A Southern Series: Coke, Barbecues and BuggiesMy Profile

  11. I’m not sure who would have more fun with this, the girls or Chris?! We’ll definitely give this a try!
    Kristen recently posted..Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb – Review by a TweenMy Profile

  12. Did the painting turn out? Sounds like a fun summer project

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

  13. 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

  14. And how awesome is that. :) 
    Leigh Powell Hines @Hinessightblog recently posted.."And the Secret Ingredient Is….." I’ll be Judging as Triangle Chefs Battle it Out in NC Dining CompetitionMy Profile

  15. 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

    • 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. 

  16. What a fun, colorful mess to do on a hot day!

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

  17. Are you kidding me….this is SUCH a good idea.  My boys are gonna love this.

  18. Okay totally have to do this!!


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