Kids Painting Activities

Kids love to paint! These kids painting activities range from spin painting, marble rolling, body painting, fingerpainting, to painting with a variety of brushes and other materials and on a range of surfaces.

Autumn Leaves Painting

Autumn Leaves Painting with Kids

We try to change out the front door stained glass artwork with the seasons—always keeping it fresh and seasonal. So last week, we made an Autumn leaves painting and hung it in place of the spring/summer artwork that had been up for months.

We’re not surrounded by Autumn leaves outside yet but there are a few, and there’s a nip in the air at night. Fall is definitely here and we were ready to make a new welcome to our house artwork.

Here’s how we made it:

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Painting Activities for Preschoolers :: 11 Favorites

Great list of the best painting activities for preschoolers!Looking for painting activities for your preschoolers?

Here are 11 of our all-time favorites that are process-oriented and developmentally appropriate yet super fun. Everything from spin painting and puffy paint to watercolor resist and shaving cream marbling.

And, bonus! The results are usually pretty cool, too.

First, a quick note about paints.

We use and love a variety of paints, but our favorites for the preschool age are:

Painting Activities for Preschoolers :: 11 Favorites

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Circle Art :: An Open Ended Art Activity for Kids

Circle Art - Open Ended Art for KidsThis post should probably be subtitled, Going with the Flow.

Because that’s what can, and often does, happen with open ended art activities for kids.

Here’s an example from the other day when we did a group circle art activity, inspired by Peter H. Reynolds’ book, The Dot.

We started with some circle art that we continued to work on and evolve throughout the day in ways that I couldn’t have predicted. We just went with the flow and it was wonderful.

Do you ever have experiences like that? Where you start an art activity even though you have little idea what you’re doing? Or what it will become?

Art can evolve in interesting ways if you let go of preconceived outcomes, let the kids decide how it will proceed, or to let an art material or tool inspire and influence the course of the activity and the finished product.

Here’s how we did this circle art activity

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Building a DIY Backyard Playhouse with Fort Magic

Paint Your Own DIY Backyard PlayhouseThe other day, when Maia and Daphne were off adventuring with friends and I had a rare few hours of kid-free time to myself, I cleaned the house from top to bottom I played with their toys.

The Fort Magic kit, specifically.

I put together a DIY backyard playhouse all by myself and enjoyed every minute of it.

(Note: See GIVEAWAY at the end of this post for a chance to win your own Fort Magic kit.)

I built the playhouse over the sandbox with the idea of creating some afternoon shade in what is one of the more popular kid spots in our yard. Maybe even some rain protection as we are getting daily afternoon showers.

I went in with a goal about shaping my children’s outdoor play space so they have:

  • Shade from the harsh afternoon sun
  • Protection from rain (maybe; as you can see from the photo we’re not quite there)
  • A fun playhouse to inspire the kids’ pretend play
  • A partially enclosed kid-size space for a sense of privacy and safety

My other goal was to try out an idea I’ve long had—cover the playhouse with a blank canvas and let the kids paint it.

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Shaving Cream Marbling with Liquid Watercolors

Shaving Cream Marbling with Liquid WatercolorsWe LOVE shaving cream marbling. Love it. Love any marbling, really, but shaving cream marbling is especially fun (it involves shaving cream, after all) as well as beautiful (the colors are just so vibrant).

We’ve done shaving cream marbling so many times over the years, both on our own and with friends, for no special reason and in order to make handmade gifts. We’ve even done it with a variety of paints.

A couple weeks ago, when Maia was sick and sleeping away most of the day, she even requested a shaving cream marbling session during a brief awake and not-too-feverish period.

When I looked back at my old posts on shaving cream marbling, though, I realized that they were way overdue for an update.

So here you go.

Shaving Cream Marbling with Liquid Watercolors

With better photos, added tips for success, and years of experience under our belt…… 

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7 Watercolor Techniques for Kids :: Experimenting

Watercolor Techniques for Kids - Experimenting with Different TechniquesWe’ve been experimenting lately with different watercolor techniques for kids, adding new twists to our favorite tools and techniques as well as trying out new ideas.

Our experiments include dropping, spreading, adding rubbing alcohol and salt, using the watercolors with water and without, and painting on the light table. I have lots of photos and (super simple) instructions to share with you.

But first, a few notes about art materials:

WATERCOLORS

Liquid watercolor paints are one of our all-time favorite art materials and most of what you will see in this post was done with liquid watercolors.

However, we used watered down food coloring for some watercolor painting and experimenting yesterday and the results were surprisingly hard to distinguish from the liquid watercolors. So if you haven’t made the plunge to order liquid watercolors yet, give the food coloring a try.

I’ve also heard that you can make your own liquid watercolors from old dried-up markers…… 

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Body Tracing Activity for Kids

Body Tracing Activity for KidsWe’ve had a lot of fun with a body tracing activity over the past week or so.

What started as a simple invitation to work big turned into a week-long exploration of self portraits, working large, and even quilting (on paper).

I taped large sheets of butcher paper to the floor in the living room, added a tray of art supplies, and then went to pick up Daphne and her friend Julianna from preschool.

They opted for body tracing self portraits and I decided to do the same and work beside them (they collaborated to trace my body).

Here are some photos, instructions, and the finished (totally awesome!) artworks decorating our walls:

Body Tracing Activity for Kids… 

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Melting Crayons Art on Canvas + Watercolor Resist

Melting Crayons Art on Canvas with WatercolorsWe tried doing melted crayon art on canvas yesterday.

If you saw my Instagram pictures yesterday, you know that I initially planned to try out crayons in the hot glue gun, an idea I saw on Pinterest a while back.

This did not go so well, so we resorted to our standby of putting the objects in question (the canvas panels) into the oven to heat up and then drawing on them with crayons (which melted as they touched the hot surface).

This worked beautifully!

Melting Crayons Art on Canvas

MATERIALS

Welcome Spring with a Stained Glass Spring Art Project for Kids

Welcome Spring with a DiY Stained Glass Spring Art Project for KidsHappy first day of spring!!

Daphne and I made a spring stained glass window to welcome spring in style (and to offer all kinds of good, warm spring ju-ju so that it starts to feel a bit more like spring!). It’s light green, pink, and yellow and especially gorgeous with the morning light streaming through the front of the house!

A Stained Glass Spring Art Project for Kids

MATERIALS

  • Easel paper
  • Oil pastels, light colors if possible (crayons would work okay as well)
  • Liquid watercolor paint in spring colors
  • A multi-paned window to put the stained glass on (or any window)
  • A piece of scrap paper
  • Pencil
  • Vegetable oil

INSTRUCTIONS… 

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