Get ready for the best, most creative, most EPIC painting ideas for kids you have ever seen! Because … well, February. February is definitely a month that requires some fun and loads of bright colours too.
If you have preschoolers or toddlers who love when Mama gets that paint out, have we got some fun in store for them (and you!). There are painting ideas that use creative mediums, messy painting ideas, mess- FREE painting activities, adorable ideas, and creative gems too.
If it involves paint (and fun) you best believe it is in this post …
Painting Ideas for Kids
Just before we jump right in to all of that painting, crafty fun, I wanted to share a few tips to help manage the mess. Some times I really, really don’t mind a mess at all. I mean, it’s all for the sake of creativity, right? But other days, I would really prefer to minimize the aftermath of said creativity.
A great idea is to lay out an old plastic table cloth each time you paint. When you are done, wipe it with warm water (does not need to be perfect!), let it dry, and fold it away for the next painting adventure. We sometimes even put this plastic table cloth right on the floor and do our crafting there.
Another tip, which is great for very young children, is to do your painting adventures right in the bath tub! Of course, you will need to ensure your little one stays sitting to avoid slips, but this is a great way to allow little ones to really explore their art process and then just wash all that ‘art process’ down the drain!
Alright, we are officially set. Let’s get painting!
Painting Ideas using Unusual Tools
Loofah Snowmen: Grab out those shower loofahs and get to painting! This painting idea is a great sensory experience as well. I love the idea of decorating these little painted snowmen with all sorts of wonderful scraps and odds and ends.
Paint Blowing: Why not let those little preschoolers experience painting with their breath? Using a straw to direct air and blow that paint across the page is a wonderful art experience. If you use the right colours, your kids can even learn about colour mixing!
Eye Dropper Snow Painting: Using eye droppers or pippettes is a great hand strengthening activity for little hands. And the idea of using them with paint is in the snow is so much fun! I love this painting activity for kids.
Squeegee Painting, By Make-it-Your-Own – A squeegee is such a fun and easy tool to paint with for kids of all ages. The paint can be moved and manipulated in interesting ways and clean-up is a breeze!
Spaghetti Paintbrushes, By The Kitchen Table Classroom – You know how much we love to keep things easy around here! Kids of all ages will love experimenting with spaghetti paintbrushes to see what effects they can create! Food coloring is used in this post, but I’m certain regular paints would work just as well.
Water Blaster Splatter Painting, By Simple Everyday Mom – This is a great painting idea for kids! My little ones absolutely love using their water blasters during summer water play. I can’t imagine how much fun they’d having using these to paint. You might want to lay down some ground rules beforehand about what is considered “a canvas” for their art. I’m thinking, not the cat…
Painting without Paint Brushes
Painting with Balloons, By Teaching 2 and 3 Year-olds – This painting idea for kids would be perfect for a party. Just grab those balloons everyone is playing with and use them to paint instead! They actually create some pretty neat effects.
Painting with Tea Bags, By Fantastic Fun and Learning – It doesn’t get any simpler than this, folks. If you’ve got a tea bag, you are set for this craft. Children will love using all their senses to manipulate their “paintbrushes” to create beautiful, smelly effects.
Magnet Painting, By Craftulate – This painting idea for kids is simply brilliant! Kids cover magnetic objects in paint then use a large magnet to manipulate them from the bottom of a tray. It works like magic!
Painting Ideas with Unusual Canvases
Shower Curtain Painting with Homemade Baby-Safe Gel Paints, By Tinkerlab – Holy color explosion, Batman! This would be such a fun activity for a small party or a lazy Saturday afternoon with the neighbours. If you’re not a fan of the shower curtain idea, other canvases can be used. Nonetheless, check out the simple gel paint recipe. It is squishy, edible and uses three household ingredients plus water.
Baby Wipe Tie Dye Art, By Mudmates – Painting ideas for toddlers that only require two items? That’s my kind of easy! Although markers are used in this post, I think a similar effect could be created with different kinds of paints. Little ones of all ages can create this art and they’ll love unraveling their tie-dye surprise!
No Touch Painting on Wax Paper, By Bean Sprouts Preschool – This painting activity is great for little ones less interested in the messy side of “messy art.” They also get the benefits of developing fine motor skills by squeezing out their own paint. Place a second sheet of wax paper on top so kids can manipulate the paint without touching it directly.
Embossed Tin Leaves – Painting on tinfoil is an art exploration all on it’s own! Add in the fun of pressing leaves behind that tin foil and your little ones are bound to have a very unique experience. This painting idea turns out so beautiful and is perfect for Autumn.
Nature Painting – How about painting on some flowers, leaves, rocks, or stems? Nature painting is a wonderful activity for kids to experience. You can display the nature items temporarily, or make a print of them to keep them forever!
Painting Salt Dough – Salt dough is a great crafting supply for kids. You can use watercolour paint to paint right on top of that dough once it is dry. This post let’s you know exactly how to do that.
Stamping, Printing and Resist Art
Recycled Shapes Art, By Mosswood Connections – Some of the coolest painting ideas for kids come from recycled materials and items found at home. This process art is no exception. Toddlers to teenagers will be capable of participating and will be proud of their final product.
Pipecleaner Stamping, By Fantastic Fun and Learning – Make your own stamps with pipecleaners! Make flowers, hearts, stars – oh my! Use them in art, cards, wrapping paper and just about anywhere!
Leaf Printing Art, By This Imagination Tree – Print the backs of leaves in various colours and stamp, stamp stamp. How gloriously simple!
Leaf Rubbing Crayon Resist Art, By Kitchen Table Classroom – When we think leaf rubbing, it’s easy to think that after using crayons, the job is done. Take your next crayon rubbing to another level by painting over it with watercolours!
Paint Stamping Art Projects
Bubble Wrap Stamping, By Glued to my Crafts – Spread some paint over bubble wrap and use it as a stamp! In this art, little ones will try to imitate cherry blossoms, but you can use this stamping idea however you like.
Heart Printing – Print making is such a fun painting experience. Kids learn all about how images reverse when a print is made first hand!
Snowflake Printmaking – Try print making with snowflakes! This beautiful painting activity is a perfect winter painting experience. Cozy up on a snowy afternoon with those kids and grab out that blue and white paint.
Stamping Shamrocks – If you happen to have a pepper that is close to the way out, why not paint it and stamp it before you toss it? You can create beautiful shamrock like stamps by painting peppers – a perfect painting experience for St. Patricks Day!
Easter Egg Stamping – No peppers in the fridge? How about some good old fashioned potato stamping. Grab a potato, cut it in half, do a little fancy design work, apply paint, stamp, and voila! Your Easter crafting just got a whole lot simpler (and a whole lot more fun too!)
Fall Leaf Potato Stamp – Grab that orange, red, and yellow paint for this Fall painting activity. This art project is so simple for even the littlest of kids and always turns out gorgeous.
Crayon Resist Winter Landscape – Since we seem to be going through all the seasons at once, let’s add in one more winter painting idea, shall we? This one uses the a crayon resist painting technique for kids.
Painting with the Help of Gravity
Crayon Drip Rain Cloud, By Sugar, Spice and Glitter – When painting ideas for kids look like something I could find in a gallery, I need to find out how it’s made! The drip effect found here is created by melting crayons with a blow dryer. I just love how the different materials combine to create this seriously mean rain cloud!
Drip Painting Flowers, By Easy Peasy and Fun – We have featured drip art on the blog before, but I love how this painting and the one above are unique. They “saw something in the drips” and helped us see it too by using additional materials. Toddlers up to older children will certainly have fun with this one.
Balloon Dart Painting, By A Crafty Living – This process art is simple to set-up, but does get a little messy. You will the balloons with air (not paint) and then dip the balloons in the paint. Older kids can throw darts in an attempt to pop the balloons.
Paint with Car Races, By Learn, Play, Read – “Mommy, did you say messy art and big trucks?” “Yes I did my child, yes I did.” I love how this messy art with trucks has kiddos roll the trucks downhill, leaving a little bit to chance.
Painting Ideas for Kids using Motion
Catapult Painting, By Create, Laugh and Learn – Catapulting paint? I strongly encourage all brave mamas out there to try this STEAM painting activity steeped in learning. I might try it too, but you’ll find me in a radioactive suit with a large tarp covering at least a 6 foot radius from the catapult. I’m only half kidding…
Paper Plate Twisting, By Buggy and Buddy – This painting activity for preschoolers is so easy you’ll have your feet up sipping coffee in no time. Not only is it easy, it’s quick too. Your child can experiment with color again and again, and see how no two designs will look alike.
DIY Spin Art, By Babble Dabble Do – If you have a marble, a marker cap and a CD of dreadful music, you are ready to create your DIY spinner. Place paper in a container or a box, start your spinner and begin pouring the paint over the CD. Watch centrifugal force at it’s finest, making art as it goes.
Painting in a Salad Spinner, By Meri Cherry – I guess my mind is spinning with painting ideas for kids (Ha! The pun!), I just had to include one more spinning art activity! Meri Cherry cuts a thematic shape out of cardstock, places it in the spinner, adds paint, and spins!
Art and Science Collide
Bubble Blower Art, By Childhood 101 – Blowing bubbles can be such a magical experience for kids. Now imagine when those bubbles are filled with paint! This fun and easy craft is great for all artists, but younger children may struggle to consistently aim their blower at the paper. In that case, you may simply have to take this art outdoors.
Soap Pump Painting with Bubbles, By A Little Pinch of Perfect – This messy art results is some beautiful textures both to see and touch! Fill a foam soap dispenser with water, clear glue and food colouring to achieve these effects.
Fizzing Heart Art, By The Pinterested Parent – Add paint to the vinegar in your classic baking soda and vinegar experiment and get gorgeous abstract art. Your little ones will be dying to know how it all works and will want to continue experimenting with different colors and techniques.
Melting Snow Process Art, By Mom Explores the Smokies – Bring the fun of snow indoors and add an artistic twist! You might even end up discussing melting, solids and liquids, color blending and more!
More Painting Ideas for Kids
Watercolor Yarn Process Art, By Arty Crafty Kids – Create a beautifully textured, abstract work with yarn and paint. The yarn stays in place because it gets soaked in glue. Once the glue is dry, paint as you please! This art will pop wherever it is displayed!
Rainbow in a Bag, By Powerful Mothering – If your baby or toddler loves sensory bags, they will love this one! Follow the recipe to make a paste for each color of the rainbow and add it to the bag in a row. The paste won’t mix like paint so it’ll maintain it’s rainbow quality for longer. What a fun item to pull out when waiting in line or prepping dinner.
Multi-stage Process Art, By Happiness is Here – Paint is only one step of this multi-stage process art, but I absolutely had to include it. This mama laid out a canvas and on each day she brought out a new material to add to the art work. Each of the kids contributed to the same canvas, creating a unified masterpiece. You just have to see it!
Spice Painting, By The Pinterested Parent – Ok, so I might be cheating a little bit. This is a post on painting ideas for kids and this art doesn’t really require paint. I think you won’t mind once you see how amazing this art is! Kids can brush their page with glue so the spices can stay where they land. Then little ones can sprinkle, smush and smudge to their little hearts content.
Phew! Now this is one heck of a post on painting ideas for kids! I must say, if you need an idea for using up that paint you most certainly will find it on this list.
Painting is definitely a go-to craft for little kids. But it can be so much more than just a cup of paint and a brush (though it certainly can be that too!). Adding a few different elements and ideas are great ways to spice things up and keep your crafting exciting (for your kids and for you too.)
Happy painting friends!
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