The best kids painting ideas :: Simple Play

For day three of our Simple Play :: complex learning series, we’re taking a cue from a report in the US that opportunities for art can have a dramatic and positive effect on children’s academic performance, and we’re all about: paint!

the best kids painting ideas

The best kids painting ideas

Here’s today’s simple play challenge: will you paint with us? When was the last time you brought out the colours and a big sheet of paper, and celebrated your child’s creativity with some fabulous painting?

If you do paint regularly, how about encouraging your child to try something new? Take a look at the ideas below to add a different twist to your painting today.

Whatever you choose to do, we want to see your paintings! Share them on Instagram with #simpleplay and come and post them on our Facebook page. Show the world your little artist’s creation!

kids painting ideas

Reasons not to let your children paint

It’s so messy. It gets everywhere. They’ll get it all over their hands. On their clothes. In their hair.

Yes, it is. And yes they might. But, if this normally stops you from painting with your child, just for today, will you put that aside and give it a try? Because…

children's painting ideas

The complex learning as we paint

Painting is a joyful celebration of them, of their creativity, their spirit and their inner personality.

It allows children to come alive and explore their senses: discovering colour, texture, smells, movements and images.

It helps develop skills that are vital to language and mathematical learning. As they hold paint brushes in their hands and flex their wrists and develop finger strength, they are getting ready to hold pencils and write. As they draw shapes, make swirls, and create patterns, they are switching on the mathematical thoughts in their brains. And as they mix colours, experiment with different types of paint and paper, and discover what happens when they add more water, you are encouraging a young scientist designing their first experiments.

different painting activities for kids

So today, please join us. Grab a sheet, a drop cloth, some old towels or some newspaper, Cover the floor and the table. Pop on an apron or an old shirt. And try some glorious painting with us.

You can keep it super simple or give it an interesting twist. Try these ideas for some inspiration:

art activities for children

10 kids painting ideas

Here are my top ten ways for children to explore paint – have you tried them?

1. For babies, try this homemade lavender finger paint or use watered down purees of cooked carrots or sweet potato.

2. Add an extra sense and create with spice paints.

3. Focus purely on the process.

4. Ban paintbrushes!

5. Try tin foil painting, painting on texture or a bubble wrap canvass.

6. Make some DIY bunting.

7. Try painting on shells, painting on leaves, with cars or with water pistols.

8. Think big and paint a landscape or fireworks in the sky.

9. Experiment with reverse print paintings.

10. Paint your hands with henna.

An excellent resource of preschool activities, toghether with 10 printables. Includes math, literacy, art, science and play ideas for thre to fice year olds. Click through to download your copy.


  1. says

    I realllllllly LOVE the direction you are taking on creativity for kids this year. I absolutely agree with the words in your last post about pushing the bar, the wow factor, & missing the simplicity of creating the SKILLS that are required to CREATE at all period. I am on board with you. LO comes home shortly, im dragging out the drop sheets, large paper roll, & possibly some potato stamps! See which direction SHE goes!
    Thanks again, great stuff.
    Jeanine ;D

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