M has been very difficult lately (normal for a two year old), so I’ve been looking for an easy toddler painting activity to do with him. I tried plain old finger painting, but he didn’t enjoy the paint on his fingers (now, that’s a new one for me!)
With a bit of experimentation, we came up with a few fun ideas. I chose the easiest and most successful to share with you. This one was the easiest primarily because it requires almost no set-up, was (relatively) neat, and really engaged him.
We painted right on the plate that held the paint! A plate is a little firmer than a paper, so it doesn’t get soggy from the drops of paint. It kept him happier and streamlined the activity for him a little bit. (We tried both transferring to paper, and painting right on the plate, and this way worked better.
When we finished, I did tape it to the wall for three days and threw it away. If you’d like, you can follow this simple tutorial to turn it into a pretty wall hanging for your child’s room!
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS EASY TODDLER PAINTING ACTIVITY:
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- Finger paints – start with Primary colors for a very young child
- A paper plate
- Something to protect your surface (if you want) – I used wrapping paper.
- Things to paint with the choices are yours! I used a pipe cleaner (I doubled up the end by folding it up and wrapping it around itself, to make it thicker), jumbo craft stick, strip of felt scrap from my felt covered notebooks, a crayon, and a plastic spoon.
- Optional: a piece of paper and washi tape for hanging.
HOW TO DO THIS EASY TODDLER PAINTING ACTIVITY:
I set up his painting area as follows: I covered his high chair tray with wrapping paper and painter’s tape. I placed four dollops of paint on the paper plate, and the painting tools on both sides of the plate. I don’t recommend using TOO many tools – five was a happy number for us!
I showed M how to start, and he took it right off from there! He painted right on the paper plate, making it a simpler activity for him. He really enjoyed it. He started with the pipe cleaner.
And then went in full force, using both hands! He liked the craft stick a lot, because it smeared a lot of paint at once.
He then swapped out the pipe cleaner for the spoon. You do need to know your child. M does differentiate between food and non-food so he did not attempt to eat the paint. Only give a spoon if your toddler won’t try to eat it (or if your paint is edible).
Eventually, he did make use of the felt strip. He threw the crayon on the floor right at the start of the activity, so he didn’t use that. He REALLY enjoyed himself!
When he was done making art, he had a real look of pride on his face! I wanted to keep it for him, and hang it a couple of days, but the paint on the paper plate was too thick.
So, we pressed a piece of paper onto it, and captured the artwork! He even signed it with Mommy’s help, by drawing a squiggle into the wet paint.
When it dried, I hung his artwork on the wall with a little washi tape art of my own..
Eventually, I took it down, and gave it to him to play with. And, of course, I threw it out when it was crumpled and all over my kitchen floor. That is the way of toddler artwork!
DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER IDEA FOR AN EASY TODDLER PAINTING ACTIVITY? SHARE IT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
Want more painting ideas? Click on the image below for lots of inspiration!