The Body as a Canvas


These kids LOVE to paint their bodies. They don't do it in the larger art group setting as much, but get them in ones, twos, or threes (especially in warmer weather) and chances are they'll lose their clothes fairly quickly and start painting their body as much as the paper in front of them. Maia, above, is sporting an attractive blue and yellow torso painting.

And Marlise's torso matches the canvas in front of her!

We haven't tried rubbing a piece of paper on the torso painting in order to make a print, but perhaps that project is on the horizon… When this happens it's either straight into the tub afterwards or straight outside to the kiddie pool for a hose down.

Do your kids paint their bodies?


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  • Reply
    April 12, 2008 at 7:06 am

    The other day I was going to show Paige how to paint her hand and make a hand print painting. She started telling me no, that you weren’t supposed to do that. So, I ended up being the only one making a hand print. It is interesting because she loves to paint, but she always wants a brush. I don’t think she’s ever put paint on herself.
    However, she does like to play with shaving cream in the tub and will lather herself up with that.

  • Reply
    April 12, 2008 at 9:55 am

    We’ve done it outside on the kids’ picnic table with both fingerpaints and shaving cream. My kids still love to do the shaving cream and they are 7 9!

  • Reply
    Mom and Kiddo
    April 12, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Whenever my three year old gets paint on him he insists I wipe it off immediately: no finger painting, no touching the paintbrush handle if it has paint on it, etc. He doesn’t appear to have sensory issues, he just hates to be dirty. Some parents might appreciate this, I find it a bit frustrating. I wish he was more willing to get messy during art.

  • Reply
    April 12, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I just posted some similar phootos – yes they love painting the body!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Holy moly! My kid loves to paint herself! In fact, I usually can’t get her to paint anywhere else!

  • Reply
    Melissa A
    April 13, 2008 at 6:33 am

    O loves to paint her tummy. She’ll usually paint the paper for about 3 seconds then she concentrates on painting her body for the rest of the time.

  • Reply
    The Artful Parent
    April 13, 2008 at 3:59 am

    I think that little kids can go through phases in terms of wanting or not wanting to get paint on themselves. Some of the children in our art group went through a time when they didn’t want to get any paint on their hands and if they did, they wanted to wipe it off immediately. When they were in this phase, they preferred painting with a brush to fingerpainting. These same kids are now putting their whole hands into the paint and squishing it around.

  • Reply
    February 22, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Love the body paint…. I think my grandsons would love this also!

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