Take 14 toddlers and add paint

messy play painting station

Messy play painting is a fabulous, fun activity for children. Today at creche we set up a painting and printing station and fourteen toddlers were giggling with delight as they explored the colours, sensations and techniques available.

messy play printing ideas

Our Painting Station was set up just five minutes before the children arrived, using the materials that happened to be around – and turned in to an hour’s worth of creative fun.

To make our paint and print station

We stuck a long roll of paper to a child-height table using sticky tape (to hold it in place while the children painted)

Provided paint in little frying pans, borrowed from the home corner kitchen – which were just the right size to fit our stampers and came with the added bonus of a handle, which the children used to pass the different coloured paints to one another.

Offered some interesting items to paint and stamp with: cotton buds, sponge shapes, stamping pads, toy tins of beans (that helpful home corner kitchen again), plastic cups and yoghurt pots.

The children added their imaginations and their hands.
messy play painting ideas for children

This was a collaborative, community art work, with all the children invited to join in and add their own designs to the piece. Some popped in for a few minutes to have a quick try, others stayed the whole session, trying all the colours and materials on offer.
messy play painting ideas

Messy play like this is open-ended, so the children can use the materials whichever way they like.

Some printed, some rolled the toy tin can through the paint and along the paper to make tracks. Some swirled with the cotton buds, some drew shapes, some made dots. Some pressed their hands in the paint and then made prints, some used the palms of their hands to swirl the paint colours together. There was a mixture of quiet concentration, chat and co-operation about sharing materials, and shrieks of delight.

And how messy was the messy play?

Fourteen two and three-year-olds, in aprons to cover their clothes, kept (almost) all the paint on the paper and tootled off to the basins to wash their own hands when they’d finished. So, don’t be scared of a little messy play – give it a try and see what your little artists can create.

happily shared with craft schooling Sunday and  smart summer challenge and  for the kids Friday and happiness is and child centred art party and  it’s playtime and made by you monday and kids get crafty


    • Cathy @ NurtureStore says

      Hi lyn – just ready mixed tubes of poster paints – the kids loved squeezing out more as they painted away.

  1. says

    I love messy group play!! I never let the number of kids or the expected mess they’ll create deter me from having fun. Great way to spend an hour–love that you were spontaneous and just went with what was around. My kind of craft!

    Thank you for linking up at Rub Some Dirt On It!

  2. says

    Wonderful! I love that you did this with so many little ones. Sometimes I don’t want to get it out for my one two year old, but I am always glad that I did when it is all said and done. Thanks for sharing at my blog party. hope to see more of your ideas later today when my party is up this week.

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