Big Art Project for Toddlers: Ribbon Painting

Art Projects
Big Art
Gross Motor
Preschoolers36 Comments

Get moving and get creative at the same time with a big art project. Ribbon painting is a fun art project for toddlers to let loose and paint in a fun way.

But its also fun for preschoolers too!

Big Art Project for Toddlers: Ribbon Painting

It wasn’t just ribbon painting… it was ribbon throw painting.

I begin by asking… Henry, what three colors would you like to paint with?

Blue, Green and White.

I was shocked he named three colors. I didn’t have to correct him to only choose three, or coerce him into saying another color. He simply just rattled off three colors.

Set out the paint and add some ribbon (or cords, or tinsel, whatever you got on hand) to dip into the paint.

Big Art Project for Toddlers: Ribbon Painting

I took this art activity outside and made it big. I taped four scrapbook papers together in a large square onto some cardboard. (The cardboard was to protect my sidewalk from paint, not totally necessary, but also made a sturdy, stiff base for the paper to be on.)

Henry dipped the ribbons in the paint and ran them across the paper.
Big Art Project for Toddlers: Ribbon Painting

Surprisingly, this didn’t really interest Henry… Until he stood up to refill his ribbon with more paint. That’s when he began to throw the ribbons onto the papers!

And then it was fun!

Big Art Project for Toddlers: Ribbon Painting

Seeing how they splatted onto the paper and what kind of design they left suddenly became interesting to Henry.

Then dragging the ribbon off to do it again, left yet another streak of paint.

Big Art Project for Toddlers: Ribbon Painting

A beautifully created art piece and a fun activity in one!
Big Art Project for Toddlers: Ribbon Painting

Henry chose to display the blue paper in the frame.

Big Art Project for Toddlers: Ribbon Painting

Why the blue paper? Because there’s an H – for Henry!
Big Art Project for Toddlers: Ribbon Painting



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  1. Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree says

    Love this! You are creating Henry into a Jackson Pollock (artist)! There is always great experimentation going on with each post! Since Henry is so active a new twist is always put on to each activity! I Love it! Keep doing what you are doing! Most parents would give up, but you just go with the flow!

  2. Rashmie @ MommyLabs says

    It's a different ball game altogether with boys! No matter how he did, the best part is, he figured out a way for himself and a way that resulted in fun as well as art! Love the photos!

  3. Jude says

    Love the effect you've created here – yet another idea that I shall add to my ever lengthening 'to try' list.
    Thanks for adding this, and the other posts, to Mini-Masterpieces.

  4. Jessica Heath says

    I love the ideas Jamie! I am a stay at home mom of triplet toddlers so we’re always looking for things to do…you have inspired a lot of time spent together!

  5. Katherine of Aurora Spitfire says

    What a terrific idea…and yet another fun activity to add to my “If it ever gets warm outside we’ll do these things” list. :-) I loved reading your observations of Henry’s discoveries and seeing his proud pointing in the last photo!

  6. Jo says

    Hi Jamie I love seeing and reading your fabulous activities that you do with your children. Your ideas inspire me to be creative with my toddlers in the classroom and outdoors. I will definitely be using this painting activity with my littlies. I can just picture the messy, creative fun we will have.

  7. Hajera says

    Hello,Jamie wishing you a very peaceful and Happy New Year 2015.Nice work! by Henry. Surely it can be done with preschoolers. Last year I did this kind of paintings with my students. We used marbles and poster paints.Children enjoyed it a lot. Jamie thank you very much for the lovely and useful post.

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