55 joyful kids painting ideas

We’ve been painting today. Huge pieces of paper, any paint colours we wanted, inside and outside. The sun shone, the children daydreamed and ideas appeared on paper.

If you’re wondering what you might do with your children this weekend: paint! It’s joyful, colourful, uplifting, relaxing, inspiring and such a pleasure. Here are my three golden rules for happy children’s painting, and 55 ideas you could try to give your painting a boost this week.

Make it a Yes event

You need freedom to be creative. A hovering adult, saying no and limiting a child’s ideas, can dry up all of the child’s creative enthusiasm. So take a step back, and a deep breath if necessary, and relax. Say yes! Yes you can have another piece of paper. Yes you can put your hands in the paint. Yes you can mix all the colours together. Yes you can use all the green paint in the bottle. Yes we can add in some glitter. Yes you can paint every inch of your paper black. Yes you can scribble all over the page.


Prepare to chill

The way to creativity is paved with forward planning. It’s a lot easier to relax, be hands-off and let children explore painting their way, if you’re not fretting about getting paint all over your house. Encouraging creativity doesn’t necessarily mean allowing your children to run loose around your home with hands covered in paint.

:: use washable paint

:: cover anything you’re concerned about: the table, the floor, your child, yourself

:: even better – head outdoors. My girls adore painting outside – it’s guaranteed to life their spirits. The space, light and natural surroundings can breath life into art – and any mess is easily cleaned by a garden hose, a watering can or the rain.

Ring the changes

The same old, same old can lose its attraction, even for kids who enjoy painting. So ring the changes and offer something new every once in a while: a new type of paint, new materials to paint with, a new location. Try one of these ideas to get you started.

Don’t stick with paintbrushes – try something different. Pick one of these 52 alternative kids painting ideas.

But if you do use brushes – try something different

Print with flowers :: use lots of glitter :: use newspaper as your canvass :: paint with conkers  :: or with marbles :: with drinking straws :: cotton buds ::  your hands :: cars :: a salad spinner

Try water colours :: reverse your paintings :: or paint a self portrait

Garden Art Ideas

For a whole year’s worth of garden art, crafts and outdoor play ideas take a look at The Garden Classroom.

Our Brain Boost series will be back next week.


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