50 Paint Activities: Tools, Methods & Recipes


Painting is such a staple for art activities with most kids.

Painting is often the first exposure children have to art.

Which isn’t surprising. There’s a million different ways to do it!

50 Paint Activities: Tools, Methods & Recipes

Even so, painting can become mundane for the child [not to mention yourself] if all that’s ever used is a paintbrush and paper. And where’s the creativity in that?

Pablo Picasso said it best:

“All children are artists.
The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

How shall we keep our children as artists as they grow?

A few new ways to paint couldn’t hurt, could it? Grab a new tool to paint with, or a new method of painting, and get creative today!

Here’s 50 paint activities, with tools, methods and recipes to get your mind in gear. Like I said, there’s a million ways to paint, this is just the tip of the iceberg.


28 Painting Tools

Introduce new tools to use with paint and your child will jump at the opportunity to get creative! Get creative yourself with what you use. Find something lying around the house and ask yourself, “How could we paint with this?”!

Painting Tools

  1. Paint with a sponge! Make a rainbow on the sponge if you’re feeling super creative.
  2. Add a stencil to the mix. Sponge paint over it to make instant pictures!
  3. Reuse bubble wrap. Paint on it, make prints, whatever suits you!
  4. Water is an awesome means of painting. There’s something magical about it as it dries up!
  5. Use a paint roller. Kids love to do things just like Mom and Dad! [From Experimenting Mom]
  6. Finger paint. An obvious one, but I often forget this easy peasy creative activity!
  7. Paint something big, like a window!
  8. A no mess, toddler approved option is baggy painting! Add an object to the baggy and go!
  9. Use odds and ends to paint with. Such as spoons and forks from the last birthday party.
  10. Get moving while you paint! Throwing ribbons is a great option for older toddlers and preschoolers that have the urge to move!
  11. Along the lines od the ribbon painting, but with a sliding twist, symmetrical string painting. [From Preschool Powol Packets]
  12. Roll things! Like plastic Easter eggs or balls!
  13. Use your child’s interest to paint. Vehicle painting is a huge hit here!
  14. Use your hands and fingers to make prints!
  15. Raid your kitchen! Kitchen utensils have great painting potential. [From Crayon Freckles]
  16. Blow paint with straws!
  17. Use Q-tips as mini paintbrushes. [From Make and Takes]
  18. A super fun and magical twist is magnet painting! [From Rockabye Butterfly]
  19. Kids love to squirt things! Try using a cleaned medicine syringe. [From Our Feminist Playschool]
  20. On that same not, eye droppers are another fun tool to paint with! And works their fine motor skills! [From Picklebums]
  21. Use a paper plate to make spin art.  [From Putti's World]
  22. Splat painted paghetti! Its a wonderful sensory activity too![From Smiling Like Sunshine]
  23. Roll it with rolling pin! [From Casa Maria's Learning Zone]
  24. Paint with themselves. That’s right. Use the entire body and really get into the painting! [From Carrots are Orange]
  25. Go on a nature hunt and paint with your findings! [From Mommy Labs]
  26. Make your own bingo/dot markers! [From Growing Play]
  27. Paint with sticks! [From Toddler Approved]
  28. Paint with frozen paint-cicles!

8 Painting Methods

New methods of painting is almost as effective as new tools to paint with! Kids get a kick out of jumping or running and creating something while doing so!

Painting Methods

  1. Salad spinner painting. A few drops of paint and spin, spin, spin!
  2. Use a box or container and some toys and shake, shake, shake! A great method for newbies, or toddlers, to painting.
  3. Pour paint over an object. Get really creative with the colors and make a rainbow! [Dilly Dali Art]
  4. Blow colored bubbles and make prints! [From The Chocolate Muffin Tree]
  5. Swing it! Make a pendulum and paint from it! [From Getting Messy with Ms Jessi]
  6. Hold it up and let the paint drip. [From Childhood 101]
  7. Squirt and squish paint in contact paper! [From Familylicious]
  8. Use spray bottles and squirt colored water to paint something!

There are many more methods of painting that also get your body moving shown in the Big, Big Art Collection.


14 Homemade Paint Recipes

Making your own paint is super easy. Pretty much add food coloring to anything and you’ve created a painting medium. Try some of these tried and true recipes for painting with your kids and you’ll never be short on paint again!

Paint Recipes

  1. For versatile fun and great for toddlers who still put things in their mouths, try an edible finger paint recipe.
  2. Another edible finger paint, but super, duper simple is yogurt paint.
  3. Instead of chalk,  sidewalk paint to paint the driveway.
  4. Same as above, but with a fun fizzy twist is  the fizzy sidewalk paint.
  5. Paint all you want and then make it puffy with this microwave puffy paint recipe! [From Tinkerlab]
  6. Scrub a dub in the tub and get creative with shaving cream bath paint. [From The Imagination Tree]
  7. Add even more fun to the tub with a glowing bath paint. [from Growing a Jeweled Rose]
  8. A shaving cream alternative and edible version: whipped cream paint. [From Three Bears Get Crafty]
  9. The kids will have a blast painting themselves or each other with a body paint recipe. [Modern Parents Messy Kids]
  10. Or try a recipe one that’s meant for the face! Face paint recipe from Superheroes and Princesses.
  11. A staple painting would be watercolors, try making your own with this watercolors recipe. [From Creative Jewish Mom]
  12. An easy glue paint recipe. [From Pink and Green Mama]
  13. A condensed milk paint recipe! It’s so shiny! [From ECE Made Easy]
  14. window paint recipe that contains soap so its makes for easy cleanup, and clean windows!


I am constantly inspired by paint activities. I have an ongoing list of ways to paint on my “Painting Like an Artist” board on Pinterest. For this list of activities, I also dug into my “Kids Art in Every Form” board, as well as “Craft Recipes for Kids”.

Do you have a go-to paint method that your kids love?

More collections of play ideas!


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  1. says

    I love all the recipes for different paints. I just have one big hurdle to get over. I don’t like having to clean up the mess. :) I know I just have to get over it and take the plunge. Maybe we’ll be doing some more painting this week!

    • says

      Jump the hurdle!! Do it!! You can always clean it up! Take it outside too – that always helps when its really messy and lets the kids get really into it!

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