The Artful Parent’s favorite painting activities for preschoolers. Try process art ideas like spin painting, marble rolling, and marbling.
Updated September 2022
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.
The BEST Paints for Painting Activities for Preschoolers
First, a quick note about paints.
We use and love a variety of paints, but our favorites for the preschool age are:
- Tempera paint (tempera paint is widely available at craft stores and drug stores, but I buy Colorations brand Simply Washable Tempera Paint because it’s not only the best quality I’ve found but also the cheapest)
- Watercolor paint (you can use watercolor cakes or liquid watercolors)
- BioColor Paint (this one is more expensive than tempera paint but extra shiny and vibrant when dry, plus it adheres to more surfaces)
- Finger paints (because fingerpainting is such a classic preschool art activity)
- We also like to make our own paints!
Painting Activities for Preschoolers
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.
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!
Who doesn’t love splatter and drip painting? This one is a messier, action-oriented art activity best suited to outdoors.
Body tracing art is a lovely way for preschoolers to create self portraits, work on self-image, and to work large.
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.
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.
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)!
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.
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!
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!
Kids love to see how watercolors react with different materials! This post has a lot of fun watercolor techniques to try with children.
More Painting Activities for Preschoolers
- 7 Fun Painting Ideas for Kids to Try
- Creative Learning Activities for Preschoolers
- Top 10 Art Materials for Preschoolers
- The Best Paints for Kids
- How to Paint with Chalk Paint for Kids
- How to do Splat Painting