10 Favorite Painting Activities


Our toddlers and preschoolers love to paint! Thank goodness there is such a variety of paint activities available, and many of them don’t use paintbrushes. Painting is a wonderful way to encourage creativity and learn about colors, plus it also helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. I’ve put together 10 favorite painting activities that we did one particular year. Try one and let me know in the comments how it went!



10 favorite painting activities

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1. Painting on the Easel

Preschool Art at the Easel

 Our easel is set up beside our art table and used during centers time. Using a vertical surface is another good way to build fine motor skills.


2. Painting with Rolling Pins


preschool rolling pin painting 7

This is seriously the easiest activity to put together, and young children love pushing and pulling the rolling pin across the paper.

3. Painting with Tea Bags


Preschool Art with Tea Bags

Have you ever tried painting with tea bags? We found the deep berry tea bags had the richest color. It’s also a pleasantly scented activity!

4. Painting with Tissue Boxes


painting activities

While learning about the square shape, we stamped squares onto paper using tissue boxes.

5. Painting with Corks 


Preschool Art with Corks


Save those corks, because they are the perfect size for small fingers to hold. We used thick milk paint to create circles on paper.


6. Painting with Recycled Containers


preschool painting


What to do after you’ve planted in your garden and have all those plastic containers? Yep, we dipped them in paint and stamped with them!


7. Painting on Canvas 


Kids Canvas Painting 6


We love painting on canvas! A large piece allows several children to work together and they make nice art pieces for the wall.


8. Painting with Fingers 


Kids Finger Painting Fun 1

We mixed shaving cream and liquid watercolors for a fun color mixing experience using our hands.

9. Painting with Watercolors


Process Art for Preschoolers Using WatercolorsProcess Art for Preschoolers Using Watercolors

Our preschoolers enjoyed this process art activity because it involved several steps. I think squeezing the glue is their favorite part, but pouring salt on top of the glue and then dropping watercolors on the entire thing was fun, too.


10. Painting with Bottles


preschool painting


Small plastic soda bottles have interesting bottoms that create what looks like flower petals when stamped in paint.


10 favorite painting activities


More ideas for young children:

Easy Toddler Art Using Spools      No-Touch Painting with Toddlers long      Watercolor Painting on Paper Towels





Favorite children’s activities resource books:




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About Sheryl Cooper

Sheryl Cooper is the founder of Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds, a website full of activities for toddlers and preschoolers. She has been teaching this age group for over 15 years and loves to share her passion with teachers, parents, grandparents, and anyone with young children in their lives.


  1. California Puppets says:

    Great ideas, very creative. These painting ideas can help kids enhance their cognitive abilities and imagination. Loved the post!

  2. Fun painting ideas! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!