Learn to make splatter pictures and experiment with trying to spot hidden images in random patterns.

a young girl is looking at a paper covered in paint splatters
Phoebe makes a splatter picture, Image credit: The Royal Institution


Make works of art.

ExpeRiment with hidden images in random patterns.

Learn that your brain tries to make sense of the world.

About this activity

Our brains are constantly trying to make sense of the world around us. In this activity you and your kids will look for familiar shapes in random patterns, and learn about how our brains process the things we see.

We can create simple but beautiful splatter images by dotting paint onto one half of a sheet of paper and folding it over. After opening it up there will be a completely random pattern, yet we as humans have the ability to spot countless familiar features in it.

We see shapes and objects in the random patterns because our brains are so well designed to spot and remember objects and animals in real life. It’s sort of a short-cut our brains use to quickly process the world, but it can sometimes mean we see things in unexpected places.

18 and 19 August holiday workshops cancelled

Due to planned transport strikes, all holiday workshops on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 August are cancelled.