Skip to Content

Painting with Toddlers ~ Our Best Tips

Painting with Toddlers ~ Our Best Tips

From a very young age, I have been encouraging my kiddos to be creative and artistic. To some parents, all they think of when they hear painting with toddlers is messy messy messy! Now I am not going to try to convince you otherwise… I do not have a secret that will make this art process magically unmessy. However, I have a few tips for you to help make the best out of it every single time!Read these tips for painting with toddlers! Introducing your little ones to arts and crafts early is so important!

Painting with Toddlers

I love painting with my toddler. From creating fun handprint art to getting messy with a creative painting project, it’s amazing to watch the look on my little girl’s face while she experiments. I know that, while messy, this process is teaching her so much! She’s learning about mixing colors, working on her fine motor skills, building her creativity, and more! There is no way to make painting with toddlers easy, but there are a few ways to make it less stressful. So here are some tips to help you enjoy the process.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Getting your area ready to create with young children

Start by lining your table with packing paper, newspaper, or even a broken down box. Honestly, when you paint with toddlers their brush rarely stays on a piece of paper or what you are planning to paint. Make sure to tape it down! It isn’t going to magically stay where you want it, trust me on this one. Invest in a huge roll of painter’s tape. It works great for this. You can also use it to tape down their projects and paint pallet!
Read these tips for painting with toddlers! Introducing your little ones to arts and crafts early is so important!We will touch more on that in a bit. Last, but not least, a painter’s smock. You can buy them at the store or whip up an easy one at home! (Here is a link to our no-sew version)


Keep your toddler engaged:

Have you ever set up a painting project for your toddler only to have them paint for one minute and be done? All that setup and mess for nothing! This has happened to me too so here are a couple of tips to try to keep them engaged longer. First, give them random shapes to paint! Our recyclables are the first place I look at.  We use egg cartons, butter boxes, tp rolls, and more! The different shapes pose different challenges for them to paint.Read these tips for painting with toddlers! Introducing your little ones to arts and crafts early is so important! Use some painter’s tape to stick them to the table. It’s easy for a toddler to get frustrated with painting if the object keeps scooting away from them!
Read these tips for painting with toddlers! Introducing your little ones to arts and crafts early is so important!If they seem to be getting bored with that, ditch the brush! A brush can be hard for a toddler to maneuver so if their vision isn’t happening they can lose interest fast. Luckily there are plenty of other things around the house you can use, including their fingers! Check out some of our favorite things to grab here. Read these tips for painting with toddlers! Introducing your little ones to arts and crafts early is so important!Another good tip is to let them use the whole space. Take your finger, dip it in the paint, and wipe it across the whole table. Show them that the whole space is for them to create. Let them stamp, paint, and smear the whole area.

Paint mixing 101:

Now you won’t probably be framing this piece of art. This is set up as an invitation to play. That doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to keep them engaged by having some bright colors! So when placing out the paint I always ask my toddler what color do they want. Just one. Then I add a few complementary colors to the pallet. (Reminder- we tape it down!) We have a great idea if you want to keep your paint fresh here. Or you can just grab a leftover butter tub lid.
Read these tips for painting with toddlers! Introducing your little ones to arts and crafts early is so important!Good combo example: red, blue, and white. Once all mixed together you will have a light purple. Bad combo: blue, orange, yellow. That will turn a nasty brown color… not too inspiring. The colors will be all mixed together so fast that there is no point to try to keep them separate.

A Few Final Tips for Painting with 1 and 2-year-olds:

Turn on some tunes! We always like to play some music. Whether it is toddler sing-along songs or salsa it just makes it so much more fun!

Keep a few wet paper towels or wet wipes within reach to quickly swipe up anything that hits the floor.

Make sure you have washable paint.

Finally, join in the fun!!

I really hope you take the time for painting with your toddler. It will surely be a memorable experience!
Read these tips for painting with toddlers! Introducing your little ones to arts and crafts early is so important!Wait there’s MORE! Here are some fun things around the house to add next time you are painting with your toddler!

Inspire creativity

Are you trying to inspire creativity in your kids? Sign up for the weekly Twitchetts newsletter to get that and more. Get access to free printables, special offers, and weekly crafts and activities that kids will love!

Whether you call it moon sand, cloud dough, or kinetic sand this recipe is perfect! It is taste safe coconut oil moon sand. We added a fun summer twist as well!
← Previous
How to make fun moon sand with coconut oil
Ditch the paintbrush and find some of these fun household items for painting!
Next →
Household Items for Painting with Toddlers

How to make kid's ombré handprint art on canvas - Twitchetts

Wednesday 13th of January 2021

[…] This project is perfect for kids as young as toddlers to big kids! If a messy type of craft gives you a bit of anxiety, you don’t want to miss our tips for painting with toddlers. […]

Painted Heart Paper Craft ~ Valentine's Day Crafts for Kids - Twitchetts

Tuesday 9th of January 2018

[…] we mention in our painting with toddlers tips, you should tape down your paint pallet as well. Pick out a couple of paint colors and start […]

Watercolor Hearts a Valentine's Day Craft for Kids - Twitchetts

Thursday 19th of January 2017

[…] set up your kiddo with their paint, water, and brush.  If you have younger kiddos, check out our tips for painting with toddlers.Only give them one or two colors per sheet of paper. We want pretty hearts, not brown ones. When […]

Natalie

Wednesday 18th of January 2017

Love this post. My 3 year old found acrylic paints in the cupboard and I told him discouragingly, "no it's too messy". I was just not in the mood. But he eagerly ran into the kitchen and got his paint smock his Uncle had given him for Christmas and said, "see, Mommy, I can just wear this!"....How could I say no to that?! Wish I would have thought of alternatives to the paint brush, because it was definitely a MESS.