Painting for kids is a wonderful sensory experience that also develops their creativity. There are so many benefits to teaching kids to paint.

Painting for Kids

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Painting for kids is a wonderful sensory experience that also develops their creativity. There are so many benefits to teaching kids to paint. It’s great for process art or crafts which are both an important part of running a home daycare.

Children painting at a table and a close up of a child's hand using a paint brush

There are a ton of different mediums you can use to paint with kids. You can even teach them to paint with plain ole water. You can also use salt, bubbles, pudding, and so much more. Painting can be messy, but if you can’t tolerate the mess, there are still other ways to let kids manipulate paint that aren’t as messy.

The process of teaching kids to paint is so great because they develop fine motor skills and creativity and the sensory experience helps their brains develop. Kids can paint with brushes, leaves, sticks, forks, straws, and so much more. Painting doesn’t mean tempera paints with a brush on an easel. It can, but it can have so many other meanings.

Kids can paint with just water. If you have a wooden fence, you have the perfect canvas. Give them some big brushes and buckets of water and let them create. You can take photos of their creations before they dry.

Don’t have a wooden fence, what about the bricks or rocks on the side of your house or siding? They can paint with water on concrete too. Anything that looks different when it gets wet. This is the ultimate outdoor no indoor mess activity.

Best paint for kids

My favorite paint brand is colorations. I love their liquid watercolors and their regular paint. Check them out on Amazon or Discount School Supply. You can also get these wonderfully amazing paint markers these days. They feel like pastels, a little greasy. And they make wonderful dark opaque designs. Check them out on Amazon too.

I really don’t love painting with kids, but these paint markers help me be able to do it more often. The best part is they wipe right off the table and other surfaces. My kids love using them. 

You don’t have to just paint on paper either. You can let kids paint eggs, coffee filters, shape cut outs, boxes, and so much more. The best part about this painting activity is that first you go on a nature walk to find your paintbrush! Even painting rocks is fun. 

child painting with a marble in a box

Using the colorations paint with marbles is a ton of fun. It’s less messy because you put your paper in the bottom of a box and squirt the paint in and then drop in your marbles. Check out the instructions for marble painting here.

Shaving cream paint is a fun medium. I use the liquid watercolors to make them for my kids. And some of my husband’s shaving cream. Check out how to make shaving cream paint in this post.

shaving cream paintings drying on a table

The colorations paint is great for yarn painting. And once you buy the paint, you can find dozens of uses for it with different painting vessels. Paintbrushes are awesome, but there are so many other things you can use. Try sticks from the yard or tie up some leaves from a tree and dip that in the paint. Check out this yarn painting post for more ideas on that.

kids painting with yarn on paper in the backyard

To paint with salt, you just paint on a sheet of paper, and then while it’s still wet, you sprinkle salt on top. It makes a wonderful texture and lets kids express their creativity. If we do cookie-cutter crafts, our parents think they are cute, but our kids don’t get to learn what they can come up with. Creativity is developed by age 8, so we NEED to be letting kids develop it in daycare settings. The public school doesn’t teach art until 5th grade.

You can also make your very own window paint and quickly cheer up your house with bright colors! This would be tons of fun!

Liquid watercolors in some dish soap makes great bubble paint. You can give kids straws to blow into the paint with. Then when they have a big pile built up, they can press their paper on it. Then try it with another color for a different layer. For his and more creative painting ideas to throw an outdoor art party, click this link.

There are tons of ideas kids can do with fork painting. Check out how to do it in this post and even paint with match box cars too! 

Chalk paint is super fun. You can use it outside and it rinses off like sidewalk chalk. You can even make your own. Check out how in this DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint for Kids post. 

This easy watercolor painting idea is great for kids of any age. Have fun creating unique paintings that also can double as gifts or cards for any holiday.

Want to paint but don’t want the mess? Try paint-less watercolors!

Toddler painting ideas

Toddlers can be super messy with paint, so using things that are super washable is a great idea. You can strip them down to just a diaper before you start to avoid stains on their clothes. You can also do all the painting outside to save your home. The paint markers I mentioned above are great for toddlers too.

Also, think of ideas for painting that don’t get everywhere. What about more painting with water times. Or just go all-in with the mess and do finger painting. The colorations paint is wonderfully washable for that.

Baby painting ideas

Paint for babies should probably be edible since they put their hands in their mouths. You can even squirt some paint in a gallon sized zip lock bag and let them squish it around without actually touching the paint. They can manipulate it and get most of the sensory and all of the fine motor skill building without the mess.

Another baby idea is to give them something like pudding in the bag. They can draw in chocolate pudding just as easily as they can paint. Just be creative with ways to use messy art without driving yourself crazy.

Homemade paint

I hope some of these ideas will inspire you to look around the house and see what you have to let kids get creative with paint.

Edible finger paints are fun to use and yummy when it’s time to clean up too. No paint? No problem! Grab the sunscreen and make art while learning the science of how sunscreen keeps us safe from the sun’s rays. 

For more ideas on making your own homemade art supplies and saving money, check this out.

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