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11 Painting Activities for Preschoolers

by Jean Van't Hul
November 10, 2021

Process art is wonderful for all ages, but especially younger artists. Here are The Artful Parent’s top favorite painting activities for preschoolers that are open ended and so much fun!

Bubble wrap printing - painting activities for preschoolers
Photo by Rachel Withers

Looking for painting activities for 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.

This post contains affiliate links.

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

Painting Activities for Preschoolers

spin painting
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

1. Spin painting

Spin painting is such a fun painting activity for preschoolers as well as older children! We use a salad spinner for our spin art, but I’ve seen this done with a special purchased spin art kit as well.

painting activities for preschoolers with marbles
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

2. Marble rolling

I don’t know about your kids, but mine love marbles. And painting with paint covered marbles is a favorite that we return to again and again. We’ve even used this technique to make spider webs at Halloween!

pink, purple and blue splatter painting
Photo by Rachel Withers

3. Splatter painting

Who doesn’t love splatter and drip painting? This one is a messier, action-oriented art activity best suited to outdoors.

Body tracing for kids
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

4. Body tracing and painting

Body tracing art is a lovely way for preschoolers to create self portraits, work on self-image, and to work large.

Shaving cream Marbling for kids
Photo by Rachel Withers

5. Shaving cream marbling

If you haven’t tried shaving cream marbling yet, you must! Here’s instruction and tips for getting started if this is your first time. And be sure to try easy DIY Marbling for Kids. It’s so fun and so beautiful!

Once you get bitten by the bug, you’ll want to try 6 Ways to Marble Paper.

Photo by Rachel Withers
Photo by Rachel Withers

6. Wheel and roller painting

Who says you need paint brushes to paint? Try rolling your paint onto paper with a mini paint roller (sold for painting trim) or rolling the wheels of a toy car through a puddle of paint.

Photo by Catalina Gutierrez

7. Shaving cream painting

I couldn’t write a post about favorite art activities for preschoolers without including shaving cream painting! We’ve done this on mirrors, the window, plastic toys––and now on donuts (thanks to our contributing writer Catalina Guiterrez)!

Watercolor wax resist painting
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

8. Watercolor Wax Resist Painting

A childhood classic, watercolor resist can be done a number of different ways. These artworks are fun to make and beautiful enough to give as gifts.

Salty Watercolors
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

9. Salty Watercolors

This is one of these art activities that never grow old. Watch the magic of paint traveling along salt-covered glue lines. Adaptable for various seasons and holidays (spiderweb, snowflakes, hearts, etc) or fun for every day process art!

Bubble wrap printing for kids
Photo by Rachel Withers

10. Bubble Wrap Printing

Kids love rolling and painting bubble wrap and then printing it onto paper, canvas and cardboard. Create layers of printing with this easy and fun technique. A wonderful art activity for a variety of ages!

Adding Rubbing Alcohol bubbles to Watercolor waves in the ocean
Photo by Jean Van’t Hul

11. Watercolors + salt and alcohol

Kids love to see how watercolors react with different materials! This post has a lot of fun watercolor techniques to try with children.

MORE Activities for Preschoolers

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