17 Painting Ideas For Kids

17 Painting Ideas for Kids

Painting should be a part of every child’s life. I can remember finger painting then using Crayola Watercolors then getting my first set of adult acrylic paints. Roo asks to paint often, and I try my best to say yes almost as often. Sometimes she needs a little more guidance than to just be given a piece of paper and a paintbrush. Sometimes the process needs to be a little more interesting than simple brushstrokes to keep her engaged.

Our favorite paint products are Crayola Brand. Here’s some to try with these projects:

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Premier Tempera Paint 16-oz. GreenSqueeze N Paint Bottleheads8 ct Paint BrushesMy First Art Smock
Squeeze 'N Paint Tool SetColor Wonder Fingerpaints

Here are 17 painting ideas for your kids’ next paint session.

1. Splatter Painting with Squirt Bottles

We did this one when Roo was still a toddler. Paintbrushes and hands were used, but the most fun was using condiment bottles filled with 1:3 parts paint and water and just squirting it at the giant piece of paper!

2. Splatter Painting with Cotton Ballscotton ball throw painting

Similar to our splatter painting, this one should be done outdoors with a large canvas or paper. It was so much fun, I’ll admit I had more than a few throws too. Cotton ball throwing was a little cathartic!

3. Raised Salt PaintingRaised Salt Painting

While this did not work out super pretty for my preschooler, the raise salt painting is still a very fun painting idea for kids. Make your picture with glue, sprinkle the salt and let it dry before gently dabbing on watercolor paint.

4. Sticker Resiststicker resist

Find some alphabet stickers like these to spell out your child’s name or another phrase. Then let your kids paint the whole canvas! Once the paint dries, peel away the stickers to reveal the letters.

5. White Oil-Pastel and Watercolor Resist

Another resist painting idea for kids. This one is from my Halloween post where I drew spider webs with white oil-pastels before painting over it with watercolor paints.

6. Tape Resist PaintingTape Resist Painting

One last resist style, this painting idea uses painter’s tape to form a shape or letters before letting the child paint over it. Make sure to let the paint fully dry before removing the tape! We did this on T-shirts for Roo’s Rainbow Art Birthday Party.

7. Dipped Yarn Painting

Process Art for Preschoolers: Painting with Yarn and Tempera Paint
picture and tutorial from buggyandbuddy.com

Another Pinterest find, I can’t wait to test out this process art painting idea for kids. I love the squiggle shapes the yarn makes!

8. Group Mural Painting

image and link from mrsleeskinderkids.blogspot.com

If you have several kids, or are looking for a birthday party or classroom activity, this group mural painting would be a lot of fun. Use one long piece of paper and station each kid with paint and brushes to create what they want. This post had the children paint the colors from the story by Eric Carle “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”

9. Hand-Print Painting

The things you can create with a single handprint are amazing! This elephant is still one of my favorite handprint painting ideas for kids. Use washable acrylic paint to paint the child’s hand so it washes easily.

10. Finger Paintingfinger painting

I don’t care how old you are, finger painting is just plain fun! It’s not just for toddlers, even teenagers and adults will love this. Get your fingers and hands involved in your creation. If I’m being honest, every painting project with Roo turns into a finger painting session.


11. Edible Finger Painting

Speaking of finger painting, babies love getting messy too. But they also love to taste things. Make edible finger paint by adding a little food dye to plain white yogurt and let your baby have fun!

12. Gravity Drip PaintingGravity Drip Painting

Use any kind of paint for this painting idea. Hang a piece of paper vertically and paint a thick line at the top. Add water to make the paint run down the page. We used blue to make rain for this umbrella project while making our alphabet book.

13. Dot Painting with Q-Tips

qtip painting idea for kids

I started with a simple line drawing for Roo to follow with the polka dots the q-tip makes. This was fantastic fine-motor work and pre-writing practice! Eventually she used the q-tip to make lines and paint her own creation on another piece of paper, which is totally fine too.

14. Painting with Toys

painting idea for kids with toys

Process art is not something we do often, but i have to say this was a lot of fun! Very messy, but fun. I loved the lines and patterns the marbles made rolling through the paint splatters. Roo was facinated by the dinosaur foot prints.

15. Puff Paint

Homemade Puffy Paint
picture and recipe from onelittleproject.com

Shaving cream, glue, and food dye are used to make this simple puffy paint. I love the texture and vibrant colors of this painting idea for kids!

16. Pour Painting


I love watching paint pouring videos. I’ve tried a few times myself, but struggle to get the right ratio or pouring medium. I can’t wait to try this technique!


17. Bath Tub Paintbath tub paint

The painting doesn’t have to stop once it’s time to clean up and get in the tub. Read my post about Creative Bath Time Activities for a recipe on making bathtub paint!





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