Whether your kids are natural-born artists or beginners, we’ve got tons of unique painting projects to get their hands messy and their creativity flowing. From brushes to fingers and cotton swabs to bubbles, after trying some of these painting ideas your kids will think you’re Picasso!
1. Acrylic Paint Pouring
This activity is a fun and easy way to use unique color combinations to create abstract paintings in a short amount of time and with no brush strokes required! For this fun painting activity, you’ll need some acrylic or tempera paints, a small clear cup, and a canvas or piece of paper. Watch the tutorial here to see how to mix and pour the colors to help your kids create beautiful works of art!
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2. Ice Painting
This painting project is one of our coolest painting ideas, perfect for a hot summer day. Grab an ice cube tray, mix some washable paint with water, and put it in the freezer until solid. Pop the ice cubes out and give them to your kids to paint on paper, outside, or even paint themselves! Don’t worry, it will wash off.
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3. Pendulum of Paint
Time to make a colorful mess with a DIY paint pendulum made using a few recycled items. Squirt some paint in a bucket dangling over a big canvas (check the link for the full instructions), as it swings it will drip paint to create a cool moving art piece with a variety of colors and designs.
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4. Colorful Fork Friends!
Help your kids create cute little monsters using an unexpected household item, a fork! The paint strokes made by the fork look like crazy fur/hair! Add googly eyes and draw extra details and your freaky friends are done.
Learn More: Our Kid Things
5. Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles!
This activity for kids will be sure to blow their minds! In a large plastic container mix soapy water with paint then cover it with white paper. Give your kids straws and have them blow into the paint mixture until the bubbles reach the paper. They will leave cool colorful bubble imprints on the paper creating a totally unique design.
Learn More: Early Learning Ideas
6. Coffee Filter Designs
Grab a box of watercolors and some coffee filters for this art project. Some ideas you can try to create are ballerinas, rainbows, hot air balloons, silly faces, and more!
Learn More: The Best Ideas For Kids
7. Foam Noodle Fun
This craft for kids has a wide variety of options for art supplies you can use. Cut the end off a pool noodle and glue on some pipe cleaners for a cool squiggly design, or some buttons for some texture. The possibilities are endless with this fun art activity!
Learn More: Early Learning Ideas
8. Cotton Ball Rain Clouds
Let gravity do the work with this rainy day painting technique. Have your kids glue some cotton balls in a cloud shape on the top half of a piece of paper. Use an eyedropper or saturate a cotton ball and squeeze some paint around the clouds. Then pick up your paper and let gravity help your paint fall like rain!
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9. Smack and Splatter Art
This is a messy one folks! Find a big kitchen spoon, some small sponges, acrylic paint, paper, and go outside. Soak the sponges in different colors of paint and put them on the paper. Once you have them set up in a design give them a smack with the spoon! These splats will create bold paintings and put smiles (and some paint) on everyones’ faces.
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10. Toothbrush Art
Who needs paintbrushes when you have toothbrushes! When it’s time to get a new toothbrush instead of throwing your old ones away, give them to your kids to make some artistic masterpieces. This activity uses simple supplies and any type of paint or paper. So let’s get brushing!
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11. Q-Tip Painting
Q-tips are the perfect tool for kids to paint more detailed pictures and try all the colors with easy clean-up. Using Q-tips is great for improving kids’ motor skills and makes dot painting a breeze. You can provide a guide for your kids by tracing a design on the paper and letting them fill it in with different colored dots! Great for cherry blossom trees or adding that special touch to a picture.
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12. Contrasting Colors
Black and white paint, and some apples are all you need for this bold paint project. Give your kid a black canvas and white paint or a white canvas and black paint and see how they use these contrasting colors to express themselves using some apples! These prints will make for a really eye-catching piece of artwork!
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13. Finger Painting Fun
Finger painting is a super fun hands-on approach to painting with kids. They are able to feel the paint and express themselves as boldly as they choose. So grab some fingerpaint (that’s safe on skin and easily washable) and get creating!
Learn more: The Crafty Classroom
14. Sidewalk Chalk Paint
Making your own sidewalk paint is fun and easy, so try to follow this guide. With some old sidewalk chalk, corn starch, and water you can paint every sidewalk in your neighborhood!
Learn More: The Best Ideas for Kids
15. Foam Brush Painting
Buy or make your own foam brushes by cutting smaller designs out of sponges and sticking them on some paint sticks. Washable paints work best, so grab lots of colors and let your kids brush away!
Learn more: My Bored Ttoddler
16. Birch Tree Art Using Yarn
For the artistic child in all of us, this yarn painting is sure to get some “WOWS!’. Give your kids a canvas, some acrylic paint, and some yarn to make their design. They will wrap the yarn around the canvas to make the tree-like texture. Then use some cotton balls and any craft paint and dab away. Have it dry before they remove the yarn and behold their masterpiece!
Learn More: The Pinterested Parent
17. Salt Painting
This salty activity will be sure to spark creativity in your kids’ eyes. You’ll want to get some strong paper, glue, watercolors, and yes SALT! Outline a design on the paper with a pen and then trace the lines with glue. Pour the salt over the glue and when it’s dry, drop watercolors on top! Your kids’ art will pop off the paper with the cool salt texture.
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18. Green Thumbprint Flower Pots
Get your kids excited about nature by helping them decorate their own flower pots! Grab some regular paints, find some ideas for cool thumbprint designs here, and get painting!
Learn More: The Kindergarten Connection
19. Black Glue Jellyfish
For this beautiful painting activity, mix together black acrylic paint and glue following these directions and trace an outline of a jellyfish. Once the glue outline is dry your kids can use watercolors to add colors and bring their jellyfish to life!
Learn More: Arty Crafty Kids
20. Puffy Paint Fun!
Did you know you can make your own puffy paint at home? It’s so simple and only takes a few household ingredients to whip up some magic! Once your paint is ready your kids can create amazing 3-D art as fluffy as clouds.
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21. Paper Plate Portraits
Paper plate portraits are a fun tool to use in your classroom to ignite your learners’ inner artists and help them learn more about how facial expressions portray different emotions. Delve into your pupils’ creative side as they transform paper plates into self-portraits or whimsical faces. Simply have them make use of paint, markers, or even pasta to create eyes, noses, and mouths.
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22. Handprint Ocean Animals
Dive into the deep blue sea without ever leaving your classroom by helping your kiddos make handprint ocean animals. Let your students dip their hands in paint and transfer their handprints onto a piece of paper. After making their mark, encourage their imagination to run wild as they transform their print into their very own marine animal! What a great activity to help you foster creativity and an eagerness to learn about ocean ecosystems.
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23. Marbling with Shaving Cream
This activity creates an opportunity for you to convert your classroom into your own mini art studio! Add some food coloring to a plate of shaving cream and then have your kiddos transfer their colorful shaving cream to a piece of cardstock by sandwiching the two together. The end result? Each child will have created a masterpiece resembling a polished marble stone!
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24. Vegetable Print Paintings
Vegetables aren’t only for eating – they can be used to create colorful artwork too. Have your students cut veggies like potatoes or bell peppers in half, dip them in vibrant colors, and stamp away. This is a brush-free, eco-friendly method that’s perfect for use in your lessons relating to nutrition and plant biology.
Learn More: YouTube
25. Giant Outdoor Canvas
Let’s take art into the great outdoors! Stretch a massive fabric canvas on your schoolyard fence or any open space and let your students’ creative juices flow. They can apply color to brushes, hands, or even to their feet. We guarantee that your kiddos will remember this larger-than-life art class for years to come!
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26. Bubble Wrap Prints
Household items can be put to many uses and one of those household items is bubble wrap. To create unique bubble wrap prints, simply cover bubble wrap in paint and let your students press it onto paper. This innovative approach will do wonders in teaching them about texture and pattern, and can even be tied into a lesson on recycling or materials science.
Learn More: Arty Crafty Kids
27. Rainbow Spin Art
Create your very own rainbow in the classroom by getting your kiddos stuck into a rainbow spin art activity. Insert some colorful paints into an old salad spinner and let your little artists spin away. They’re sure to be mesmerized by the whirlpool of colors that they create in this fun activity that’s part physics, part art class, and 100% magic.
Learn More: Toddler Approved
28. Glitter Glue Sun Catchers
A sprinkle of sparkle and a dash of sun is what this idea is all about. Using glitter glue and clear plastic lids, task your students with creating shimmering designs on the lids to create dazzling suncatchers. Punch a hole in the plastic lids once they have dried and help your learners thread through a string to hang them up across your windows. And voila – you have a radiant decoration for your learners to admire as the sun shows off all of their glistening creations.
Learn More: The Craft Train
29. Painted Rocks
Your students will have a blast turning ordinary rocks into colorful art pieces or even inscribing inspirational words. Simply have your pupils pop out into the schoolyard, find a rock, and return to paint it as they please. Whether gifted or displayed, these rocks are sure to stand out.
Learn More: Projects with Kids
30. Galaxy Painted Jars
Take a trip to outer space by creating galaxy-painted jars with your class. Hand your students mason jars and a palette of cosmic colors. Invite them to swirl, twist, and blend the paint inside the jar- mimicking vast galaxies. With just a sprinkle of glitter, your students’ jars will be out of this world!
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31. Craft Stick Painting
Howdy, crafters! Give your students some craft sticks and paint pots and encourage them to paint mini-masterpieces or write tiny poems on them. These versatile sticks can then be used as bookmarks today and a wall mosaic tomorrow!
Learn More: Make and Takes
32. Water Balloon Painting
Water balloon painting is a great activity to dispel your learners’ creative energy in an interactive way. Hand out water balloons filled with paint to your students and then direct them to throw the balloons at an outdoor canvas. The balloons will burst on the canvas and create vibrant splashes of color with every throw.
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33. Nature Inspired Paintings
Have your kiddos explore the great outdoors with this nature-inspired activity. Send your students on a scavenger hunt for natural items like leaves or flowers. These items will become the medium that your students will then use to create paintings inspired by nature. Allow them to mix paint with the items they find to create their artworks on pieces of paper.
Learn More: The Artful Parent
34. Mystery Painting with White Crayon
Mystery painting combines art with magic to help your littles create mystifying artworks. Provide your students with white crayons and paper and let them draw invisible pictures. Once watercolor is gently brushed over the paper, their hidden doodles will magically appear; delighting them as they paint.
Learn More: Kids Activities Blog
35. Magic Milk Painting
Your students are sure to be mesmerized by this scientific reaction. Have them pour milk into shallow dishes and drop in food coloring. A cotton swab coated in dish soap can then be used to turn the surface into a swirling color storm!
Learn More: Modern Parents Messy Kids
36. Fruit Stamped Tote Bags
We have seen how vegetables can be used to create art, but fruit can also be used as a stunning, eco-friendly medium. Your students will use halved fruits as natural stamps on tote bags. As they press down, the textures and shapes of the fruit will form unique designs; helping them create personalized and eco-friendly bags!
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37. Coffee Grounds Painting
Don’t let your used coffee grinds go to waste! Recycle them by adding them to glue to create a textured medium that your students can use to paint with. This activity incorporates tactile art in a way that is eco-friendly and also aromatic.
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38. Resist Art with Masking Tape
Masking tape is a great tool that can be used to elevate your little learners’ artwork. Stick the masking tape onto paper in geometric or free-form designs. Once your students paint over it and the tape is peeled away they’ll be left with a stunning masterpiece that combines color and negative space.
Learn More: YouTube
39. Spray Bottle Silhouette Art
Have your learners set aside their paintbrushes and pick up some spray bottles! Begin by having them place a paper cutout silhouette on a canvas before equipping them with spray bottles filled with diluted paint and letting them go to town. Once they’ve sprayed away, they can peel away the silhouette to reveal the colorful outlines left on the canvas.
Learn More: Kids Activities Blog
40. Mirror Image Painting
Use this mirror image painting exercise for double the fun. Instruct your students to fold a piece of paper in half, add blobs of paint to the middle of it, and then squish the sides together. Then, they can open it up to reveal a symmetrical piece of vibrant art!
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41. Magnetic Painting
Magnetic painting is another activity that can be used to combine science with art. Place a piece of paper in a box and have your learners drop magnets coated in paint inside before using a larger magnet, placed underneath the box, to manipulate them. The finished product will be a unique piece of abstract art for everyone to take home and marvel at!
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