Work on skip counting and early math skills with a creative paint squish skip counting activity for preschoolers from Julie. Big kids will love this for multiplication practice, too!
Math can be super boring to practice when you just stick to worksheets. But when you add in fun art activities and creative twists, math is suddenly exciting!
Creative Mess-Free Paint Squish Skip Counting Activity
We recently tried a fun math activity to teach skip counting and early multiplication skills. Your preschooler or elementary-age child will love this unique skip counting activity, and they’ll create a fun artwork in the process!
Your kids will love learning math facts without worksheets!
For our squish paint art activity, we needed:
- Art Paper
- Gallon plastic storage bag
- Acrylic or tempera paint
To start, we cut a large piece of art paper to fit inside our plastic storage bag.
Next, I squirted tiny dots of paint in straight lines on the paper. Since we were working on skip counting by fives, I made five dots of the same color.
Then I repeated five dots in different colors until I have four columns of five or twenty dots in total.
Once our dots were on the paper, we made sure to seal up the bag.
Squish Paint to Learn About Numbers
Then my son squished each dot of paint as he counted from numbers 1 to 20. Do this from outside the bag for mess-free fun!
He had so much fun watching each dot grow and spread as he smashed it.
This step helped him understand the set of numbers as a whole and built confidence since he can already count by ones easily.
Make learning math more fun with a number maze!
Next, I had my son start at the top of each column and count by fives as he squished a line through five dots at once.
In this step, your child is engaging with grouping numbers: 5- squish, 10- squish, 15- squish, 20- squish!
I love that the hands-on element of squishing dots is a concrete way to reinforce abstract ideas like numbers!
We squished the lines of paint a few more times to practice skip counting by five.
Try these 16 counting activities for preschoolers for more hands-on math fun!
Once we were done with the math activity, my son had the great idea to squish the paint all over the paper. We covered the whole paper with paint and ended up with a beautiful and vibrant painting!
Try a simple Cheerios Skip Counting by 10 activity for more hands-on math fun!
Make Your Paint Squish Art + Math Activity Work for You
This skip counting activity can easily be adapted to whatever your child is working on!
If you’re counting by twos, just put two dots of the same color beside each other, then two dots of the next color, etc.
Counting by tens? Simple, just make ten dots of the same color.
Practice counting on by using just one color to place your first set of dots. For example, 6 yellow dots.
Then, ask your child to add on red dots until they get to 10. They should count 7, 8, 9, 10 for 4 more red dots.
To work on subtraction, put all of your dots on there and invite your child to count them up. This will be your starting number.
Then invite them to squish X number of dots to take them away, or subtract. Next, count the unsquished dots together to find how many are left.
Older children can start to get the basics of multiplication, too. As you’re squishing paint, talk about groups of numbers.
“There are three groups of five. How many total is that?”
Your child will count, by 5’s, to 15.
“Great, three groups of five is 15! You could write that as 3×5=15.”
Then repeat this for the basic multiplication facts.
This simple skip counting activity is sure to capture your child’s attention, encourage math practice in a fun and unique way, and integrate art at the same time!