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Invisible Ink Lesson Plans for Your Preschool Classroom

written by: Kendra Dahlstrom • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 12/14/2014

Preschool invisible ink lesson plans combine science with fun. Teachers can write secret messages to their students and visa versa. This article explains how to make invisible ink and how to incorporate that fun into educational preschool lessons.

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    mconners light at morguefile The easiest preschool invisible ink lesson plans only require a few supplies: paper, Q-tips, a light bulb, and sheets of white paper.

    • To write, simply dip the Q-tip into lemon juice and use it as ink on the paper.
    • Once dry, it disappears until you hold it up to a heat source like a light bulb. Then the writing turns a brownish color.

    You can use this fun trick in many different preschool games and activities. It encourages curiosity in science and promotes fine motor skill practice.

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    Invisible Ink Name Game

    Give each student a piece of white paper and have them spread out all over the room. Each child draws a picture of him or herself in regular crayon, using as much or as little detail as they want. Then, using a Q-tip and the lemon juice invisible ink, let them write their names on the bottom of the pictures. Once the juice dries, line up the pictures in random order. Have the children guess who each picture represents. When the class comes to a consensus, heat up the invisible ink signature to see if they are right. Instruct the children to keep quiet when the class guesses their self portrait.

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    Alphabet Ordering Game

    The alphabet ordering game takes up quite a bit of time, so save this activity for a rainy day.

    Preschool invisible ink lesson plans don't always include letting the children create messages. Sometimes, it is their job to decode messages and patterns and see if they are correct.

    • For this game, the teacher must print off pictures of objects beginning with every letter of the alphabet. Each object gets one whole sheet of paper. For example, print a picture of an apple for "A", a picture of a boat for "B", and a picture of a clown for "C".
    • At the bottom of each paper, write the corresponding letter in lemon juice invisible ink. Again, do this before the class arrives.
    • Hang a string around the edge of the room low enough for children to clothespin the sheets of paper to it.
    • Then, when the students arrive, have them all participate in the group activity of clipping the pictures in alphabetical order on the string.
    • Once they finish, use a hair dryer to heat up the invisible ink and reveal the correct answers.
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    Simple Acid Science Lesson

    You can use preschool invisible ink lesson plans to give a brief and simple science lesson.

    • Lemon juice represents a quintessential acid. Milk represents a base. Explain that all liquids fall somewhere on the scale between an acid and a base. Acid can eat through solids. Use the invisible ink as an example. The lemon juice weakens the paper due to it's acidic nature. When heated, it actually begins to burn quicker in the areas touched by lemon juice. Although the paper doesn't smolder, the change in color is the first step.
    • You could also supply litmus paper and all kinds of different testable liquids: shampoo, dish soap, water, soda, orange juice, and coffee.
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    Fun Equals Remembering

    Preschool teachers get to use their imaginations to create educational and fun lesson plans. Homemade invisible ink is a great way to encourage fine motor growth and peak interest in education. If you're looking for some interesting ways to spend a preschool day indoors, try some invisible ink activities.

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    Ideas in this article are from personal preschool experience.

    Image Credit:

    Mconners at