Splatter painting is a favorite action art activity for kids of all ages! Here are tips and tricks plus ideas for what to do with the finished artworks.
Updated May 2021
Have you done splatter painting with kids? If so, you know how fun this action art activity can be.
There’s splatter painting and then there’s splatter painting.
One thing is for sure:
Splatter painting is a big-time favorite with all the kids I’ve known.
I’ve done art with many kids over the years – in weekly art groups, art classes, with my own kids, and with their friends – and everyone loves this action art activity.
Heck, I love it, too!
How To Do Splatter Painting with Kids
Okay, that’s enough gushing! I’m going to share the best instructions for trying splatter painting with kids (don’t worry, it’s easy!) as well as some tips and tricks I’ve learned from the countless times I’ve done this.
The best thing about splatter painting is it’s versatile! You can do it:
- Small or big
- On paper, canvas, or cardboard
- With watercolors, tempera, or acrylics
- With toddlers, preschoolers, big kids, and even adults
Plus I’ll share some ideas for what to do with your finished splatter art.
- Runny paint in cups*
- Paper (or cardboard, poster board, or a bed sheet)
- Spoon or brush
*A somewhat liquid or runny paint is best. (All the better for splattering with, my dear) We’ve used all different kinds, including liquid watercolors, watered-down tempera paint, and watered down craft acrylics.
- Set up for the mess
If you’re doing your painting OUTSIDE, simply lay your paper on the ground and go at it. (We used cardboard as a sturdy surface, but it isn’t necessary.)
If you’re brave enough to do splatter painting INSIDE, I recommend covering your work surface with a drop cloth and doing it on a smaller scale (think wrist flicks instead of whole arm flicks).
- Start splatter painting!
Dip your paint brush or spoon into the paint then flick your wrist to splatter the paint across the paper.
Continue splattering with one or more colors until you’re happy with your painting.
Then, let dry.
Encourage your child to experiment with a range of splatter motion: try brief wrist flicks or expansive wrist flicks. Splatter with your whole arm, upper body, or entire body. See what happens when you splatter close to the surface or far away. Try circular motions or up and down motions.
What to Do with Your Splatter Art
Now that you’ve had fun painting, what will you do with your splatter art? Here are some ideas…
- Display the artwork. Hang the painting on the wall, framed or unframed.
- Make your own greeting cards (cut out small squares or rectangles from the splatter art and glue to blank cards or cardstock folded over).
- Make book covers (Here’s a tutorial for DIY notebooks).
- If you splatter painted on fabric, use it as a fort or teepee cover.
- Use the art as a backdrop for a photo booth.
- Turn it into handmade wrapping paper.
- Cut triangles from the splatter art and sew, tape, or string them together into an artful bunting.
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