Healthy KidsYMCA Camps and Outdoor Education

How to make scratch-off magic paper

25 May 2020 - by YMCA of Greater Toronto
After weeks inside, lots of disappointing news, and an uncertain future ahead, we could all use a little pick-me-up. No one’s better than our YMCA Day Camps team at brightening days and putting smiles on faces! So we asked them to work their magic and come up with a little something to lift your spirits. They took it literally and wrote out instructions to create their signature “scratch-off magic paper”!

A Y logo scratched into magic paper

Here’s what you you’ll need:

  • Card stock or any paper that’s a bit heavier.

    • Substitution: if you only have plain white printer paper, don’t stress! Just tape it onto a piece of cardboard from your recycling bin to make it sturdier.

  • Dark acrylic paint. It can be black, brown, dark green — as long as it’s dark enough to paint over crayon, it’ll work!

  • Dish soap.

  • Paint tray/tin or a plastic bowl.

  • Paint brush or foam brush.

  • Wax crayons. You can use any size.

    • Substitutions: wooden skewers or a flattened-out paper clip — anything that will scratch through the paint.

  • Something to cover your table, like newspapers or a garbage bag.

  • Clothes you don’t mind getting a little messy.

Let’s get started!

  1. Have your “camper” colour their entire piece of paper with the crayons. They can cover it with stripes or circles of colour, or write a message in bubble letters. The key is to get lots of wax on the paper, so encourage them to press down really hard.

  2. While they colour away, mix a little bit of dish soap with your acrylic paint. You only need about a teaspoon for up to a ¼ cup of paint (which is a lot of paint). If your camper is only creating one or two pieces of magic paper, you'll only need a couple tablespoons of paint, and about ½ a teaspoon of dish soap.

  3. Have your camper colour their entire piece of crayon-covered paper with the dark paint.

  4. Let it all dry.

  5. Now the magic happens! Using the toothpicks, your camper gets to scratch into the paint, revealing the fun colours underneath. Encourage them to draw a picture or write a note.

Spice it up

Once your kid’s mastered the plain old piece of paper, try one of these variations:

  • Before step one, have your little one practice their shapes by cutting the paper into circles, squares, triangles, and so on.

  • Turn your paper into a card with a special message for a friend or family member you haven’t been able to see in a while.

  • Make the book your child’s currently reading look extra special by creating a book cover out of your magic paper.

Have fun! Let us know how it goes by sharing your finished creative masterpieces with us on twitter @YMCAGTACamps.


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