Painting is such a fun activity for babies and toddlers. It gives them an opportunity to express themselves through different colors and have their own messy play. I have some exciting toddler painting ideas for you.
There is something about the different colors that excite them and be proud of their own creation at the end of the day.
This can also be a great teaching moment for them to learn about colors and what happens when you mix different colors together.
I introduced painting to my daughter after she was able to stand by herself and hold the foam brush to paint around. Read the post about her experience here.
You can start at an even younger age as long as the paint you use is safe for babies. It is highly recommended that you sit with them when you first introduce these painting activities.
In this blog post, I will share with you 8 ways your baby or toddler can paint so that they will have lots of fun in experimenting with painting.
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Before sharing with you the different painting activities or ways that your baby or toddler can paint, here are 3 suggestions:
1. Have a good setup.
This is a place where your toddler or baby can paint and not worry about paint getting everywhere. What I like to do is to put a large piece of paper on my IKEA desk and tape around it with painter’s tape to keep it secure.
2. Prepare their painting clothes or smock.
If you have a smock like this, you can just put it over your baby or toddler every time they want to paint. This will help you not worry about getting the paint off their clothes. I just use an old shirt that I don’t wear anymore for my daughter to use as her painting smock.
3. Do research on your paint or choose washable acrylic paint.
I like washable paint because I can just wash my toddler’s hands after each painting session and it would come right off. Or, I would use a wet wipe to wipe her down if it gets real messy real quick.
Here are 8 baby and toddler painting activities:
1. Foam and regular brush
One of the ways you can introduce painting to your baby or toddler is with a foam or regular paint brush. You can get these brushes from the dollar store or online here.
When I first introduced painting to my daughter, I placed different colored paint on the paper and gave her the foam brush to do up and down strokes. She got the hang of it and started asking me to put paint on different parts of the paper.
You can read more about that here.
There are at least 2 ways to paint with the foam/regular brush. One is by putting dots of paint on the paper. The other is to put different paint colors in a disposable take out container so that your child can choose where they want to paint. They could also mix the colors if they like.
I prefer foam brush rather than the regular brush, as it creates these beautiful thick strokes. However, it’s more of a personal preference and what you have at home or can find in the store.
Once you are done, you can just soak them and wash them well for the next time.
2. Toilet roll
There, I said it. You can paint with an empty toilet roll. Wait, before you go, hear me out first.
There are 3 different ways that you can paint with an empty toilet roll.
First, you can just use it as it is.
Put your paint in a disposable take container (same one as before) or a cup, dip your empty toilet roll on it and use it as a stamp. When you and your toddler press well, you will have these beautiful rings of paint.
What I like about this is that it is not as messy since it’s limited to what it can pick up. Also, it’s that abstract art that you can put up on your wall. Others who do not know might not have guessed that your toddler painted that with an empty toilet paper roll.
The second idea builds upon the first idea.
In my blog post for Valentine’s day, I shared the idea of bending the toilet roll into a heart shape for the heart shape stamp. You can also do that and bend the edge into a heart. It does not necessarily have to be for Valentine’s day, but it’s a sweet craft painting project you can do.
You can read more about the other crafts for Valentine’s Day here.
The third idea is to cut the edges of the toilet roll to create a flower stamp.
For this idea, you’ll have to cut about 1cm all around the edge of the toilet roll. Then, open it up to look like a flower.
Here is an example of what it might look like after you dip it in paint and then stamp it on the paper.
Looks pretty cool, right? Hope you try these out and let me know how it turns out. You can tag me on Instagram at @makingdayscount. I would love to feature you on my stories.
3. Hand and finger painting
A popular way of painting for babies and toddlers is with finger and hand painting.
This one is pretty messy, but so much fun for them as they get to experience the texture on their hands and also play around with different colors.
There are two ways to go about this.
One is to let them free paint.
What this means is to put paint on their fingers and hand and let them stamp wherever they want on a piece of paper.
In this way, they can explore the texture of paint and have fun putting different colors of paint on their hands.
The second way is a structured and guided way to paint with their hands and fingers.
Some examples include stamping both hands together to form a butterfly or heart shape.
Pinterest is a great place to look for any seasonal crafts you might want to do with hand and fingers painting.
4. Painting with nature
Painting with nature is a fun one. You can use what you find outside to paint on paper.
Some examples include leaves, flowers, and rocks.
You can either paint the item and stamp on the paper, or dip the item in your paint before stamping it on paper.
Last fall, my toddler and I collected leaves from our front yard and around the neighborhood. Using some of the leaves, we stamp it on a paper with red, yellow, and orange acrylic paint.
It was very cool to see the patterns of the leaves imprinted on paper.
You can read the post about that here.
5. Bubble wrap
Another fun way to paint is with bubble wrap.
Cut the bubble wrap into squares or circles. Tape them on a popsicle stick.
You can either put paint directly on the bubble wrap or dip it in your paint disposable container.
Similar to the other painting ideas, you can either let them free paint or make it more of a guided activity.
With the guided activity, you can draw stems at the bottom of your paper and get your baby or toddler to stamp the bubble wrap on top of it like flowers. Another idea is to stamp them at the top of the paper like clouds mixing your blue and white paint.
The texture of bubble wrap paint is pretty cool and abstract looking as well. Also, it’s fun for your child to explore the different ways they can put paint on a piece of paper or cardboard if you prefer.
This idea of painting is one of the less messy ones as it is limited in the amount of paint it can pick up.
Using a Q-tip as a ‘brush’, dip it into your paint and let your baby or toddler paint as they wish.
I did this Valentine’s Day Q-tip art project with my daughter where we put paint in a cup and painted around a heart shaped paper. It turned out really beautiful and was a perfect gift for grandma.
Once you are done with one side, you can use the other side for a different color without having to get a new one. They’ll just have to remember which side is for which color.
Simple household objects such as Q-tips can make a great painting tool for toddlers and babies.
Huge caution: Please do not let your baby or toddler paint with marbles by themselves. If your child puts random items in their mouth, maybe try this activity when they are older. This is a guided painted activity that can be fun for both of you.
For marble painting, put them in a cup or different cups filled with paint. Then, pour them in a box where your paper is taped on. Roll the box around to get that marble effect.
I did this activity with my toddler in my Valentine’s Day post here as well.
It is pretty fun to watch as the marbles roll around to give your painting different textures and colors throughout the paper.
Again, please be careful to watch your child at all times when doing this activity.
8. Bingo markers
I wanted to include bingo markers because it is a form of painting though it does not actually use acrylic paint like the other ways.
My mom did this activity with my daughter where they used bingo markers to stamp on the coloring pages I printed for her.
It’s quite interesting and it gave me the inspiration for the New Year’s number painting activity I did with my daughter.
This type of painting can still be messy, but still contained within the marker itself. Have a go and try it out with Bingo Markers. Just be sure not to leave it on too long as it might seep through the paper.
Thank you so much for reading my blog post on “Toddler Painting Ideas”. Don’t forget to get your access to my growing library of Free printables. If you like what you read, please pin the image below and share it with others. Thanks!