Easy Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids

Painting is a fantastic way to help kids spark their imaginations, develop artistic skills, and get in some fine motor practice at the same time. But if you're stuck for ideas on what to paint, this roundup of easy canvas painting ideas for kids is a wonderful starting point. 

Canvas painting ideas for kids

You'll find plenty of painting projects for the kids to try no matter their age. From simple and easy ideas that are perfect for young babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, to more advanced techniques for older kids, our list covers a wide range of creative projects for you to create on a canvas. 

You’ll find ideas like handprint and footprint paintings, abstract art, floral scenes, and even galaxy-themed canvases. So grab some paint, brushes, and canvases, and get ready for some serious creativity and fun with your kids!

easy canvas painting ideas for kids

As well as the wonderful canvas painting ideas below, we also have a few more lists of painting ideas for kids that you might want to browse through:

If your little one loves painting then you must check out our book' 'Fun Painting Projects for Kids'. Our book is filled with 60 fun painting ideas for kids aged 3-10.

Painting ideas for kids


Easy Canvas Painting Ideas for Kids

We love to paint here at Messy Little Monster! Here are some of our favorite canvas painting ideas that we've created over the years.

easy canvas painting ideas for kids

Claude Monet Canvas Painting

Explore the world of Impressionism with this easy Claude Monet painting. Using a small canvas, masking tape, and blue and green paint, children can recreate Monet's iconic "Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies." The tape-resist technique makes it easy to create a bridge, and the use of different paint textures adds depth to the pond. Older kids can even compare their work to Monet's original series, discussing the colors and details. This canvas painting idea is both educational and wall-worthy!

Claude Monet painting for preschoolers. Easy canvas painting ideas for kids.


Gustav Klimt Tree of Life Canvas Painting

This Gustav Klimt Tree of Life painting is perfect for kids who love to mix colors and textures. It combines the use of tissue paper, acrylic paint, and optional sparkly elements like beads or gold glitter. Start by layering orange and yellow tissue paper on a canvas to create a golden background. Then, paint a tree shape, taking inspiration from Klimt's patterns. For extra pop, adorn your tree with beads or jewels. Seal it all with a layer of Mod Podge, and voila! You've got a lovely decorative piece on your hands.

Gustav Klimt Tree of Life canvas painting idea for kids


Doily Heart Canvas Painting

Valentine's Day is the perfect occasion to make our doily heart painting. In addition to a small canvas, you'll need a heart-shaped paper doily and three shades of red or pink paint. Tape the doily to the canvas, then let the kids dot paint through the hole, blending the paint a little as they go. After the paint is applied, carefully remove the doily to reveal the gorgeous heart underneath. Gift it to someone special, like a grandparent.

Doily heart canvas painting idea for kids


Squirt Gun Painting on Canvas

This squirt gun painting on canvas is the ultimate summer project that combines the great outdoors with art. Grab some squirt guns, watered-down paint, and a large canvas to get started. Fill the squirt guns with your chosen paint colors—just make sure it's about 50% paint and 50% water for the perfect consistency. Then let the kids go wild, squirting the paint onto the canvas from various distances. What a fun way to work on those fine motor skills! When all is said and done, you'll have a unique piece of art that captures the excitement of summer.

Squirt gun painting on canvas - easy canvas painting ideas for kids


Superhero Handprint Painting

Calling all superhero fans! This superhero handprint painting is perfect for kids who can't get enough of The Incredibles. Using a canvas, brushes, paint and those tiny hands, your little ones can create their own handprint versions of their favorite characters. Start by painting your child's palm with vibrant colors like red, black, and yellow, and then press it onto the canvas. Add another layer with different colors for the top half of the handprint. Once it's dry, it's time for the fun details to bring your characters to life, like adding the faces and the logo. Have fun creating other handprint paintings too!

Superhero handprint painting - easy canvas painting ideas for kids


Scribble Art Canvas

Who says art has to be complicated? Even the youngest kiddos can get in on the fun with this scribble art canvas idea. Grab some paint pens or chalk pens and a canvas, and let your little one's imagination run wild. Let them make random scribbles, allowing them to explore colors and shapes in their own unique way. Paint pens dry quickly, so layering colors is a breeze. You can choose colors that match the room décor or just let your child select their favorite colors.

Scribble art canvas. Easy canvas painting ideas for babies and toddlers


Footprint Lion Painting on Canvas

Your kids will have a roaring good time with this adorable footprint lion painting. Terrific for toddlers and preschoolers, this painting project is a fun way to create a keepsake that you'll cherish for years to come. All you need is a canvas, yellow and orange paint, and a black sharpie. Paint your child's foot yellow and make a print on the canvas. Add a tail with the same yellow paint, and then let your little one finger-paint an orange mane around the heel. Once it's dry, draw on a cute lion face with a black sharpie, and there you have it—a cute little lion keepsake.

Footprint lion painting on canvas for toddlers and preschoolers


Fingerprint Heart Keepsake Canvas Painting

Make Mom's heart melt with this fingerprint heart keepsake canvas. You'll need a mini canvas, acrylic paint, and a heart-shaped cookie cutter for this craft. Place a heart-shaped piece of sticky back plastic on the canvas and let your child fill it with their fingerprints using different colors. Once the paint is dry, peel off the plastic to reveal a neat heart shape. But what makes this keepsake extra special is the touching poem that you can print and stick at the bottom of the canvas.

Fingerprint heart keepsake - canvas painting ideas for kids


Easy Heart Art Canvas Painting

Kids of any age can make this adorable heart art. This project is incredibly simple, requiring only a canvas, a heart-shaped cookie cutter, some paint, and glitter glue. Dip the cookie cutter into the paint and stamp it onto the canvas, then dip it into the glitter glue and stamp again. The result is a sparkling piece of art that's unique and beautiful. Inspired by the book "The Day it Rained Hearts" by Felicia Bond, this craft is a wonderful way to combine story time with art.

heart art painting - easy canvas painting ideas for preschoolers and toddlers


No-Mess Canvas Painting for Babies

Say goodbye to messes with this no-mess plastic wrap painting project! Ideal for babies as young as 6 months to toddlers and preschoolers, this activity is all about the process. You'll need a canvas, paint,plastic wrap, and tape. Squeeze dollops of paint onto the canvas, then cover it with plastic wrap and tape it in place. Now comes the fun part—let your little artists squish, squeeze, and smush the paint through the plastic wrap with their fingers or hands. Once the paint is smeared across the canvas, carefully remove the finished art piece, letting it dry before gifting or hanging.

no mess canvas painting idea for toddlers and preschoolers


More Canvas Painting Ideas

Looking for more inspiration and new techniques to try? Check out one of these kid-friendly canvas painting ideas!

Canvas painting for kids

Q-Tip Painted Heart Canvas

Ideal for kids who love to dot and dab, this Q-tip painted heart project from Feeling Nifty uses cotton swabs as the primary painting tool. Begin by placing a heart-shaped stencil on your canvas. Then, dip a cotton swab into bright red paint and create a border around the heart. Next, switch to a lighter shade of pink and extend the dots beyond the red border. Finally, add an even lighter shade of pink, concentrating the dots around the heart's border and lessening them as you move towards the edges of the canvas. The end result is a starburst-style heart painting that'll look great on the wall. 

Heart q tip canvas painting idea


Dandelion Painting on Canvas

Kids who love nature and flowers will have so much fun with this dandelion painting from Crafts by Amanda. Use a shower pouf as the key tool to create the dandelion's fluffy seed heads. Start by painting the canvas with different shades of green for the grass and light blues and whites for the sky. Then, use a liner brush to add the dandelion stem and the shower pouf dipped in white paint to create the seed heads. It's a gorgeous painting that you'll want to put on display every spring and summer, and it's a great one for older kids and teens.

easy dandelion painting on canvas


Seasons Handprint Canvases

Celebrate the beauty of change with this seasons handprint art project from Babies to Bookworms. This activity is a wonderful way to create keepsakes through each season of the year to remember those cute little hands forever. The autumn tree with the "leaves" blowing away is my favorite, but they're all adorable and whimsical.

Seasons handprint art - easy canvas painting ideas for kids


Mini Canvas Painting Idea - Magnets

Make these mini canvas magnets from Homemade Ginger with kids who love to personalize their space. It's a fantastic craft for school or birthday parties. You'll need mini canvases, vinyl letters, acrylic paint, and magnets. Place a vinyl letter on each canvas, then let the kids paint over it using their chosen colors. Once the paint is dry, peel off the vinyl letters to reveal a personalized initial. Attach a magnet to the back with hot glue, and voila! You've got a cute and functional piece of art that's perfect for the fridge or a locker.

mini canvas painting ideas for kids - canvas magnets


Craft Stick Canvas Art

Experiment with different materials to make this craft stick canvas art from Arty Crafty Kids. This activity uses colored craft sticks, paint, glue, and other embellishments like buttons, glitter, stickers, or sequins. It's a fantastic way for kids to explore texture and shape, and it challenges them to think about balance and spatial awareness. 

craft stick canvas art - canvas painting ideas for kids


Nebula Painting for Kids

Journey through space with Happy Toddler Playtime's nebula painting inspired by Neil deGrasse Tyson! It combines art and science in the most mesmerizing way. You'll need a canvas, black, blue, purple, pink, and white acrylic paint, paint brushes, and cling wrap. Start by dripping the various colors all over the canvas. Then, cover the canvas with cling wrap and spread the paint until it's completely covered. Remove the cling wrap and flick white and pink paint all over the canvas to create stars. The result is a stunning nebula that looks like it's straight out of a telescope!

Nebula painting on canvas for kids inspired by inspired by Neil deGrasse Tyson

This canvas painting by Happy Toddler Playtime was inspired by one of the 60 painting projects in our book 'Fun Painting projects for Kids'. Here is our version of this smush painting galaxy art. 

easy canvas painting ideas for kids- smush painting galaxy art


Name Silhouette Canvas Painting

Kids of all ages will love this name silhouette canvas art from Happiness is Homemade! For this activity, you'll need vinyl stickers or alphabet stickers, canvas panels, matte Mod Podge, paint, and optional plastic wrap. Apply the vinyl name or graphic to the canvas, and seal the edges with a quick coat of Mod Podge for crisp lines. Then, cover the entire canvas with paint. While the paint is still wet, carefully peel up the stickers to reveal your silhouette. The result is a striking contrast between the colorful paint and the negative space. 

name silhouette canvas painting for kids


Fox in Socks Handprint Painting on Canvas

Celebrate the wonderfully wacky world of Dr. Seuss with this Fox in Socks handprint craft from Our Kid Things! Loads of fun for kids who love the tongue-twisting tales of Fox and Knox, this project is a creative way to make a keepsake while revisiting a favorite book. You'll need acrylic paint in various colors, a paintbrush, a canvas, and a black permanent marker. Paint your child's hand in the colors of either Fox or Knox and gently press it onto the canvas. Add a few fingerprints for eyes and draw their faces with markers. It's as easy as that!

fox in socks handprint painting on canvas


Simple Rose Painting

Learn about blending colors and using simple brushstrokes to create gorgeous flowers with this rose painting from Projects with Kids. Grab a square canvas, paint in various shades of pink and green, and round paintbrushes in various sizes. The tutorial guides kids through a rough sketch of where they want each flower to go, painting the background, and then using dashed brushstrokes in a circular pattern to create the roses. The leaves are added last, using multiple shades of green for added dimension. Wouldn't it be a lovely painting project for Mother's Day?

rose painting - canvas painting ideas


Piet Mondrian Inspired Art

Learn about abstract art with this fabulous Piet Mondrian-inspired painting from Happiness is Homemade. It's great for kids who are interested in art history and teaches them about Mondrian's style using lines and primary colors. Perfect for kids who are ready to explore art history, this activity teaches them about Mondrian's unique style that features horizontal and vertical lines along with primary colors. Use a pencil and ruler to create a grid on the canvas. Then, fill in random squares and rectangles with primary colors. Once dry, use black electrical tape to create thick grid lines, mimicking Mondrian's iconic style. 

Piet Mondrian Art - Canvas painting ideas for kids


Scrape Painting Art

Work on layering colors and using new tools to paint with this fun scrape painting art project from Moms and Crafters. This is another great idea if you're painting with kids of differing ages because everyone can do it, and it looks great. Simply add your paint colors to your canvas and use a scraping tool (or even an old credit card) to scrape the paint in different directions across the canvas. It'll make a great piece of modern art for their bedrooms. 

scrape painting art - easy canvas painting ideas for kids

Now that you have lots of canvas painting ideas to inspire you, it's time to get started. Which of these easy canvas painting ideas for kids do you think you'll try first? Don't forget to pin this post to come back to it whenever you feel a flash of creativity and want to do some canvas painting with the kids.

Canvas painting ideas

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