Kids love to paint, and what’s not to love? Bright colors, interesting textures and lots of messy fun! Toddlers may not have the dexterity or desire to use paintbrushes, so let your tots experiment with different painting techniques. They are sure to have a blast exploring the world of color and art through painting, and you will get some one-of-a-kind abstract art to proudly display on the fridge.
Finger painting is the classic technique for youngsters to learn how to paint. Kids love the squishy consistency and how easily their painted fingers glide over the paper. Some toddlers are still prone to exploring new things with their mouth, so keep a close eye on your little one while painting. Or, eliminate your worry of paint ingestion altogether by making super easy, edible finger paint that your little one can even help you make. Pour 2 cups cold water into a large bowl and help your toddler stir while you slowly add 2 cups white flour. Once it is well mixed, divide the mixture into smaller bowls. Add a different color of food coloring to each bowl, mix in the color and your toddler can get started.
Let your toddler make a straw painting. Add a few drops of paint to her paper and show her how to push the paint around by blowing air through a straw. Show her how blowing a quick burst of air makes different paint splatters than a slow steady stream of air. Use paints of varying consistency to see what happens when the paint is thicker versus watery. Make sure your kiddo understands not to suck the paint up the straw — this is another perfect time to make edible paint. If your tot can’t quite get the mechanics of blowing through the straw, she can still use the straw as a brush to make unique lines on her paper.
This technique will send paint flying through the air, so stay away from your new carpet, dress your kiddo in old clothes and put down a sheet or tablecloth to catch stray splatters. Don’t want the clean up? Head outside for this paint project!
Painting with cooked noodles is oodles of fun for your kiddo. Simply boil a handful of spaghetti noodles, adding some oil to the water to keep the noodles separate. Allow the noodles to completely cool before giving them to your tot. Dump the cooled, cooked noodles into a bowl and put out several paper plates filled with different colors of paint. Your toddler can then dip the noodles in the paint and splat, drag and roll the noodles around on his paper to create different designs.
Cut different shapes or letters out of new kitchen sponges and let your kiddo go to town. She can stamp the sponges and make designs out of the shapes, or drag the sponges through the paint to create interesting textures. Show her how runnier paint can be absorbed and squeezed out of the sponge and how thicker paint stays more on the surface of the sponge.
Painting with Cotton Swabs
Teach your tot how to make paint dots using a cotton swab dipped in paint. Have several cotton swabs on hand and paper plates filled with different colors of paint. Your budding artist can dip the cotton end into the paint to make a series of careful dots, or glob the paint on and spread it around using the swab like a paintbrush. Show him how to dip both cotton ends in the paint before rolling the swab across the paper to create an interesting design. Your toddler will be creating unique works of art in no time.