Painting with water on the chalkboard

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Looking for a quick and easy, low-mess art activity? Try letting the kiddos paint with water on the chalkboard (or driveway, car, side of house, etc…). Daphne had fun doing this yesterday. And yes, she needed dry clothes afterward, but there weren't any paint messes to clean up!




What are your favorite quick and easy, low-mess art activities?

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  1. says

    Great idea! I love your blog. And your ideas are just fantastic:). Where did you find you stool? We can’t seem to find anything taller than one step.

  2. says

    We love to do this at our house too! Paint the fence, paint the side of the house, etc. My 3 year old also REALLY loves to use a squirt bottle, so sometimes we do that instead of a paint brush.

  3. says

    The stool is from Target and it has a storage compartment in the top step, which we (mostly the kids) really like. We have a second one (same kind) that we picked up at a yard sale. They’re great at the bathroom sink so the little kids can reach the water.

  4. Sandra says

    Jean, thank you for all your advise regarding the doilies. I found some unique small heart shaped ones at a more fancy craft store and tonight I’ll give them a try!
    About the spray bottle w/ water I think there’s also a version where you add some paint to the spray bottle and let the kids spray onto a large paper/sheet hung on a fence outside. My kids are crazy about the bottles !

  5. Rachel says

    for older kids.. playing with blue painters tape around the house… to make pictures on the walls or hold things together, whatever.

  6. Alea says

    My sister and I used to spend hours painting the unfinished wood on our deck with water. We’d use the foam brushes and try to get the whole thing done before it dried. We just had to be careful not to get splinters in our behinds!

  7. Julie L. says

    thanks for answering, I was going to ask the same question. I’ll be checking for one or maybe two next time we are at Target.

  8. Julie L. says

    My favorite low mess activity right now is contact paper. I mostly stick with tissue paper bits for the inside but we’ve also used foam shapes, ribbon bits, and sequence. We also enjoy large paper either stuck to the wall or floor for really big drawing with markers and crayons.

  9. [email protected] says

    Ikea has a great 2-step step stool, no storage though. 20$.

  10. says

    My 2yo “washed” the slider window with a squirt bottle of water and paper towel the other day for quite a while. The rug got a little wet–nothing a dish towel or cloth diaper couldn’t handle, though. There’s just something about water, isn’t there?! I hadn’t thought of having her paint on the chalkboard–we’ll have to try that.

  11. says

  12. MaryAnn F. Kohl, art book author says

    This is one of the favorite ideas I have in my books! It’s fun to use those charcoal gray sponge brushes (usually for wall paint or varnish, etc.), or try a large wide painter’s brush. Other things that make fun patterns and textures on the chalkboard are good too, like a kitchen sponge or a fern leaf, etc. Don’t forget to let her spray water too…a towel on the floor will help with clean up. :o)

  13. MaryAnn F. Kohl, art book author says

    Forgot to say…..My kids used to paint the river rocks in our garden… hundreds of them!

  14. says

    Asher’s favorite toy is his step stool just like this (except the white paint is peeling off from all the water that gets spilled on it!)!!
    If anyone in our house is ever missing anything, we check the storage space in the step stool. “Stasher”, we call him.

  15. says

    Our favourite mess free activities at the moment are glue free collages with sticky-backed-plastic, and for sensory play crazy soap. Its like shaving foam but it doesn’t stick to you! You can even mould it into shapes if you’re gentle, and it eventually melts down into a tiny bit of fine white powder. Virtually no clean up at all!! We’re going to try water painting when the weather gets a bit nicer and we can do it outside – its on my summer list already!

  16. says

    Oh yes! A fern leaf would be awesome! And of course she would love a spray bottle. Maia does, but I haven’t tried one with Daphne yet. Daphne loves those gray sponge brushes, but she keeps taking bites out of the sponge, so I’m going to wait a while before trying them again.

  17. Emma says

    I love this sort of idea – I read it yesterday at lunchtime and within ten minutes of getting home my toddler and I had a yoghurt tub of water and a brush each in front of the easel. She’s already done more painting and handprints this morning

  18. MaryAnn F. Kohl, art book author says

    Bites out of the sponge brushes… well, why not? You made me laugh and laugh. I guess she’s not QUITE ready for sponge brushes as painting tools. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  19. Garden Art Play says

    I found my daughter painting with ice on her daddy’s get-to-work car. She had a blast!
    *not reccomended with cars under 150,000 miles.

  20. says

    We love rock painting, with water. It’s a tradition now to pick a lovely rock at the beach for this. It dries, and we do it again. And again, and again. Tots + water= happy!

  21. says

    Daphne looks cute and witty! This is actually a good practice for your daughter as her artistic mind will develop earlier. Hmm, I’m pretty sure that she’ll have her own piece as early as 5! =)