Painting is a fun and creative activity that kids of all ages can enjoy! Not only is it a great way to express themselves and their imaginations, but it can also be a great opportunity to bond with family and friends.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next painting project with the kids, we’ve compiled a list of fun and easy painting ideas that are sure to be a hit! From colorful rainbows to abstract art, there’s something for everyone on this list.
For your convenience, we’ve sorted the activities by age.
Tips for Painting with Kids
Don’t feel pressured.
Make it fun! Especially for younger kids, keep it simple. The fewer steps and materials involved, the better. Save the more complicated activities for older kids. If your toddler or child doesn’t seem to be interested, feel free to leave it for another day.
Focus on enjoying the process, and not the output.
I understand how we can feel pressured by all the kids’ artwork we see all over Pinterest or Instagram. Let’s try to take a step back from all that, and enjoy the moment with our kids. So all we managed to do is smear paint all over our hands and the sheets of paper? That’s okay!
Remember, painting is art – so there’s no right or wrong! A toddler who makes a red blob of paint and says it’s a dog is not making a mistake! Instead of saying, “Oh but dogs aren’t red!” it may be more helpful to say with a smile, “That’s interesting. Would you like to tell me more about it?”
Expect to make a mess.
Painting with kids is going to be a messy activity. Prepare for it by choosing a location where it’s okay to make a mess, such as outdoors. The bathroom is also one of my favorite places to have painting activities. You can also place a large sheet of plastic (the kind used for wrapping books) in the painting area.
So let’s get started and explore the wonderful world of painting with kids!
Painting Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Here are fun and easy painting ideas for kids from toddler age onwards.
Finger painting is a great way to engage young children in the creative process of art making. It is also fun for kids to express themselves and explore color. Finger painting allows kids to use their hands to create patterns and shapes that can make a masterpiece.
To get started, you will need some finger painting supplies. You will need paper, non-toxic finger paints, and a few other items such as paper towels or wipes for clean up. Make sure to cover your surface with a layer of newspaper to protect it from paint spills.
When you are ready to begin, have your child dip their fingers into the paint, starting with one color and then exploring different colors. Encourage them to experiment by smearing, swirling, and mixing the colors on the paper. For an added challenge, have your child create a design by using their fingers as stamps.
When finished, allow the painting to dry and encourage your child to take pride in their artwork by displaying it in a prominent place. Finger painting is a fun activity that can help spark your child’s imagination and creativity!
Painting with Nature
Together with your child, go outside and collect small natural items, such as rocks, leaves, or flowers. Then, have them use these items to create a nature-inspired painting. This is a great way to get kids interested in nature and the environment while also encouraging their creativity.
Painting with Food
Another fun and easy painting idea is to use food items as painting tools. For example, your child can use a piece of broccoli to create a tree or a piece of celery to make a stem. This is a great way to get kids excited about trying new foods and experimenting with different textures.
Painting with Water
Watercolor painting is a fun and easy activity that kids of all ages can enjoy. You can use watercolor paints and paper or even just use food coloring and water on white paper. This is a great way to get kids used to working with different colors and experimenting with different techniques.
Painting with Ice
This is a fun and unique painting idea that kids will love. Fill ice cube trays with water and food coloring, then freeze them. Once frozen, give the kids the ice cubes and have them use them to paint on paper. As the ice melts, it will create interesting patterns and designs.
Painting with Sponges
Another fun and easy painting idea is to use sponges as paintbrushes. Cut sponges into different shapes and have your child use them to create different designs. Sponges are a great way to encourage fine motor skills and creativity.
Painting with Q-Tips
Q-Tips are an excellent tool for painting. They are easy to hold and can be used to create different designs and patterns. You can also use them to make dots, lines, and other shapes.
Painting with Playdough
Playdough can also be used for painting. Have your child roll out the playdough onto a flat surface and use it as a stamp. This is a great way to encourage fine motor skills and creativity.
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Painting Ideas for Older Kids
Compared to the previous list of activities, these have a bit more structure and also introduce concepts of art.
Symmetry painting is a great way to introduce your kids to the concept of symmetry and abstract art. It can be done with any paint, from watercolor to tempera.
To get started, grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle to create two symmetrical sides. Then have your children use their imagination to paint one side of the paper. Once they are finished, you can fold the paper in half to show them how their artwork is mirrored on the other side.
This is a great way for kids to explore the idea of shapes and patterns. You can also challenge them to try creating specific shapes such as circles or squares. The possibilities are endless with this fun and creative activity!
Spin painting is a fun and creative painting idea for kids. All you need are a few simple supplies, like paint, paper, a plastic lid, and a pen or pencil. It’s best to do this activity outside, or at least in a well-ventilated area.
Start by putting a few drops of paint onto the center of the plastic lid. Then place the paper on top of the lid. Now comes the fun part! Ask your kid to hold onto the edges of the lid and spin it around in circles. As the paint moves around the lid, it will spread and create interesting patterns on the paper.
You can also try using different colors of paint or adding objects like glitter or feathers to the lid. This will make even more unique designs on the paper. Have fun experimenting and see what kind of artwork you can create!
After your child has tried painting with Q-Tips, you may want to try Q-Tip Pointillism.
Q-Tip Pointillism is a fun and creative way for kids to paint and express themselves. It’s a great way to explore different techniques with a variety of colors. It’s easy to get started and the end results can be beautiful.
To begin, gather some Q-tips and paints. You can use any kind of paint you have on hand – tempera, acrylic, or watercolor. Once you have the supplies ready, it’s time to start painting.
To create your Q-Tip Pointillism painting, dip a Q-tip in the paint and then use it to dot the canvas or paper. Make sure the dots are close enough to each other that they blend together when viewed from a distance. You can also use different sizes of Q-tips to create different shapes and patterns in your painting.
Once you’ve created your painting, let it dry completely. Then, step back and admire your work! Q-Tip Pointillism is a great way for kids to explore their creativity and express themselves through art.
Blow Painting with Straws
Blow painting with straws is a fun and easy way to create a unique painting. All you need is some paint, paper, and straws!
First, you’ll want to pour your paint onto the paper. Then, put one end of the straw into the paint. When you blow through the other end, the air will push the paint out in different directions. Experiment with it to see how different results you can get.
This technique works great for making shapes and patterns. You can also combine it with other painting techniques like using cookie cutters as stamps or using cotton balls to make dots.
Dot Painting with Cotton Balls
This painting technique is great for introducing the concept of making art out of simple elements. All you need to do is dip a cotton ball in different colors of paint and press it onto a piece of paper or canvas to make dots of all shapes and sizes. Add some texture to your painting by using different sizes of cotton balls, or adding a bit of glitter to the paint.
This method is fun for kids because it encourages them to be creative with the shapes and colors that they make. You can even challenge them to create a particular pattern or design with the dots. Let their imaginations run wild as they explore all the possibilities!
Splatter Painting with a Toothbrush
Splatter painting is a fun and easy way for kids to explore color and texture. All you need is a few colors of washable paint, a toothbrush, and some paper.
To start, put some paint on a plate. Dip the toothbrush into the paint and use your finger to flick the bristles onto the paper. You can vary the speed and angle to create different effects. If your child wants more intense splatter marks, dip the brush in more paint before flicking it onto the paper.
The possibilities for creativity are endless with this activity. Kids can experiment with different colors, practice making different shapes, or just enjoy the randomness of the splatters. This activity is also great for fine motor skills as kids learn to control the movement of their hands and fingers.
When finished, you can display your child’s creations in frames or make cards out of them. Splatter painting is a great way for kids to have fun and be creative!
Painting with Marbles
Painting with marbles is a fun activity for kids and adults alike. It’s an easy way to add some unique, interesting designs to artwork. The process of marble painting is surprisingly simple.
First, select a few colors of paint that you would like to use. Then, fill a shallow tray with enough water to submerge the marbles. Add a few drops of paint to the water and mix it around until it is spread evenly throughout the water.
Place the marbles in the tray and allow them to roll around until they are coated in paint. Carefully remove the marbles from the tray, one at a time.
Once you have them all out, lay a piece of paper on a flat surface. Roll the marbles across the paper, using the paint on the marbles to create a design on the paper. The end result will be a colorful and creative piece of artwork.
Use a balloon to blow paint
If you want to try something a little bit different with your painting projects, why not use a balloon? Blowing paint with a balloon is an easy and fun activity for kids that produces some truly unique results.
To start, blow up a balloon and tie it off. Use masking tape to attach the balloon to a piece of cardstock or canvas. Select a few colors of paint to use and pour them into separate cups. Place a straw in each cup and use the straw to blow the paint onto the balloon. You can experiment by blowing one color at a time, or by blowing multiple colors at once.
Once you’ve finished blowing paint onto the balloon, carefully remove the balloon from the cardstock or canvas. This will reveal an abstract design that’s full of texture and movement. You can also mix and match colors to create even more intricate designs.
Blowing paint with a balloon is an incredibly fun activity that encourages creativity and encourages kids to get creative with their artwork. It’s a great way to introduce new materials into painting projects and give kids a chance to explore and experiment with different techniques. Have fun!
Thumbprint trees are a great way to get creative with painting and create fun and unique artwork. To do this, start by making the trunk of your tree.
Use brown paint to paint a trunk and branches on your canvas. Draw it freehand or trace it with a pencil first.
Once your tree is in place, take a few different colors of paint and put a drop of each color on a plate.
Dip your thumb in the paint and create leaves on your tree. Let your imagination run wild as you use your thumbprint to make all sorts of shapes and sizes of leaves.
Let the paint dry, and once it’s done, you’ll have a beautiful tree! This is a great project for young kids as well as adults who want to get creative.
Painting is a great way to encourage creativity and exploration in your children. With these fun and easy painting ideas for kids, you can keep your little ones entertained while helping them learn more about art and the world around them.
Whether they’re exploring symmetry with a paintbrush, spinning in circles to make beautiful designs, or experimenting with different tools and materials, these painting ideas will help spark their imaginations.
So get creative and enjoy the time you spend together with your child making unique art.
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