Painting Ideas for Toddlers

Think your toddler is too young for painting? No way! We've put together a fantastic list of painting ideas for toddlers that'll encourage young children to think about colors, textures, shapes, and more. Many of these toddler painting ideas encourage toddlers to experiment with different painting tools, including their fingers, sponges, flowers, toys, and lots of other options making painting a fun sensory experience. 

painting ideas for toddlers


You'll find so many ways to explore the art of painting with your toddler. Get started on one of these projects today!

Many of these painting activities for toddlers are about enjoying the painting process rather than having a perfectly finished final painting. Take a look at our article about process art to find out more about the benefits of this type of art for your toddler. 


Toddler painting ideas



Painting Ideas for Toddlers

Here are just a handful of our favourite painting ideas for toddlers that we've done right here at Messy Little Monster. These activities are fun, outside-the-box painting ideas that'll challenge your toddler to better explore the world through color.

 

Water Pistol Painting

Grab the water pistols and a canvas to try our fantastically fun Water Pistol Painting activity! Boys and girls alike will have a blast shooting paint at the canvas. It's such a fun way to create some wall-worthy art.

Water Pistol Painting - Painting ideas for toddlers


 

Paint a Rainbow

Kids just love rainbows! Our Rainbow Sponge Painting is a terrific example of using paint to make rainbows with toddlers in a fail-proof way. It's seriously so easy to create a beautiful rainbow every time. You don't even need to paint a full rainbow, just dap a sponge filled with rainbow colours to create a beautiful effect. 

Rainbow sponge painting - Painting ideas for toddlers


 

Paint Rolling Outdoor Art

If you have a slide, head outdoors to try this fun Painting with Balls idea. It's so much fun to see the paint-covered balls rolling over the paper, creating streaks and splats of color.


Painting with balls - painting ideas for toddlers


 

Edible Paint

Our Edible Finger Paint is perfect for toddlers and babies. Toddlers are still at that age where they like to explore the tastes of things, so taste-safe paints are definitely appropriate at this age!

Edible finger paint - painting ideas for toddlers


 

Paper Towel Painting

We did this Paper Towel Painting for Easter, but you can do it any time of year. This would be fun to do in red, white, and blue for patriotic holidays or greens and reds for Christmas.

Paper towel painting - painting ideas for toddlers


Handprint Fall Tree

We did this process art Handprint Fall Tree for autumn, but really, you could do it for spring or summer, too, using green paint instead of fall colors. Dabbing paint on with leaf-shaped sponges gave the handprint tree lots of amazing texture.

Handprint tree - painting ideas for toddlers


 

2D Shape Painting

Our 2D Shape Painting activity is such an easy way to teach kids basic shapes, such as hearts, circles, triangles, and squares. Odds are, you probably have everything that you need at home for this painting activity already—no special tools required!

2D shape painting - painting ideas for toddlers


 

Bubble Wrap Painting Picture Frame

You don't have to wait until Valentine's Day to make this cute Bubble Wrap Painting Picture Frame with your toddler. This easy painting technique is as simple as stamping the bubble wrap on the frame! It makes a beautiful gift for parents or grandparents.

Bubble wrap painting ideas for toddlers


 

Apple Themed Art

Have fun and get messy with some Apple Painting. Use apples to apply paint, roll the apples around in drips of paint on the picture, or cover your child's handprints in the paint to make a handprint apple craft.

Apple painting - painting ideas for toddlers



 

More Toddler Painting Ideas

Looking for more toddler painting ideas? You've got it! You'll find some fantastic and creative painting activities for toddlers below.


Painting activities for toddlers




 

Splat Painting Process Art Activity

Use sponges cut into small pieces to try this Process Art Activity from Taming Little Monsters. Use a wooden spoon or mallet to hammer the sponge to make the paint splatter across the page. You may need to thin the paint out a little to get a good splatter effect.

Splat painting - painting ideas for toddlers


 

Scrunch Painting

Explore several different textures and patterns with this easy Scrunch Painting idea from Picklebums. Use any sort of material that you can scrunch—aluminum foil, paper, plastic bags, newspaper, cotton, tissue paper, and more to see what sorts of patterns the scrunched material makes. Scrunching the materials is excellent fine motor practice for little hands.

Scrunch painting - painting ideas for toddlers


 

Watercolor Process Art

Have you ever tried making watercolor art without paint? This Watercolor Process Art by Team Cartwright shows just how easy it is using markers and water in spray bottles. Both coloring and spraying provide fine motor practice for those tiny toddler hands.

watercolor painting ideas for toddlers


Foil Painting

Painting on different materials like foil is exciting for children. For example, this Fun Painting Activity from Taming Little Monsters is a fun choice because the paint spreads different on aluminum foil, and your child will hear different noises as he or she brushes across the surface.

Foil painting ideas for toddlers


 

Flour Paint

Have you ever made Flour Paint? This recipe from Simple Fun for Kids uses common household ingredients such as flour, water, and food coloring to make taste-safe paint for little ones. Even though it is taste-safe, it's not so tasty that most children will want to consume it, which is helpful when you're trying to teach kids not to put things in their mouths.

Flour paint recipe - painting ideas for toddlers


 

Washable Window Paint

Let the kids paint the windows—really! This Washable Paint for windows by Taming Little Monsters goes on quickly and washes off just as easily. If you have washable paint, dish soap, and flour on hand, you can make a batch of this paint in just a couple of minutes.

Window paint - painting idea for toddlers


 

Shapes Resist Painting

Here's another fun shape painting activity that can reinforce the learning of basic shapes. This Toddler Resist Painting by Fun with Mama involves rolling paint over shape cutouts to create resist art. It's lovely.

Resist painting - Painting ideas for toddlers


 

String Painting

This String Painting activity by Thimble and Twig is a fantastic way to explore textures and colors. Use yarn or string dipped in paint. Children can then drag the string over the paper, smash the strings on the paper using their hands, or press the strings between the halves of the paper.

String painting ideas for toddlers


 

Mesh Dabber Painting

Looking for an easy art activity? Try Mesh Dabber Painting from Picklebums. Once you make the dabbers, they're ready to dab in the paint and then dab on the paper to create mesh patterns on the page.

Mesh dabber painting - painting ideas for toddlers.


 

Stomping Bubble Wrap Painting

You'll receive lots of laughs and giggles when you wrap your toddler's feet in bubble wrap to try this super fun Stomp Painting idea by The Soccer Mom Blog. It's a messy painting activity that's perfect for a beautiful, sunny day outside.

Stomp bubble wrap painting - painting ideas for toddlers.


 

Mess-Free Painting

Moms, you'll love this no mess Smush Painting idea from Mama Smiles. It keeps the paint contained, but allows kids to smush and move the paint around with their fingers underneath the plastic.

no mess painting ideas for toddlers


 

Muddy Pig Sensory Art

For another mess-free idea, try this Muddy Pig Sensory Art activity by Teaching 2 and 3-Year-Olds. Brown paint and shaving cream provide lots of squishy fun for kids to explore without making a big mess!

Muddy pig mess free painting ideas for toddlers


 

Marshmallow Edible Paint

Yum! Your toddler will absolutely love painting and tasting this Marshmallow Edible Paint from Crafts by Amanda. It's made with marshmallows, water, corn syrup, and food coloring. Super simple! Use it to paint on cookies or paper.

Marshmallow edible paint - painting ideas for toddlers.




Strawberry Number Painting

Practice numbers while enjoying a fun painting activity with this Strawberry Number Painting from Welcome to Mommyhood. It's such a cute way to do fingerprint painting with an educational slant.

Number painting ideas for toddlers


 

Easy Toddler Name Art

Make some Toddler Name Art for your toddler's room, using a painting done by your toddler! This simple piece of art from Learn with Play at Home is created by using tape to spell out the name and then allowing your toddler to paint the canvas. Peel away the tape to reveal the name in white! If you have a cutting machine to create vinyl letters, those work nicely, too.

toddler name art - painting ideas for toddlers


 

Nature Process Art

Ditch the paintbrushes for a day and use materials from nature instead for this Nature Process Art Activity from School Time Snippets. Take a walk or go into your own backyard to find flowers, pinecones, sticks, leaves, and berries to paint with. Brush the materials along the paper or stamp them to create a print. 

nature process art - painting ideas for toddlers


Now you have loads of painting ideas for toddlers to keep those little hands and minds engaged. Pin this list of toddler painting ideas to save it for later!

Painting ideas for toddlers.


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