10 Painting Ideas for Kids
By Laurie Leahey, CookScrapCraft
What do you think of when you think of painting? A paint palette and paintbrush? Of course, you and your kids can use those traditional painting tools, but there are so many other ways to paint. While my daughter and I were stuck at home during the Coronavirus pandemic, I found some really cool techniques for us to create fun works of art. Some of these painting ideas for kids might be familiar, while some might be new to you. But whether you have done them before or not, you will definitely want to do them!
1. Stained Glass Picture Frame Painting
A fun medium on which to paint is the glass in a picture frame. You have seen stained glass windows in churches or fancy homes before. Why not paint your own?
For this painting project, you will need an empty picture frame, with the backing removed. Squirt glue (regular or glitter) all over the picture frame’s glass, then squeeze a few drops of food coloring in different locations on the glass. Use a toothpick or small paintbrush to swirl the colors with the glue. Let dry overnight.
2. Shaker Painting
Grab a jar or a box with a lid for this easy painting idea, perfect for little ones. When I did this painting activity with my daughter, we cut hearts out of construction paper and put them in a box, but you can also place a full sheet of paper inside or cut out other shapes. Squirt a few drops of paint inside the box, put the lid on top, and shake, shake, shake. The paper inside gets covered in fun swirls and splatters! Remove the paper and let it dry on parchment paper. If you cut out shapes, you can use them to decorate cards or other works of art.
3. Jackson Pollock Art
If you’re looking for canvas painting ideas for kids, channel your inner Jackson Pollock with this painting idea. Dip a paintbrush into paint and flick it at your canvas to create colorful streaks and dots. A large piece of posterboard makes a great canvas for this, and you’ll probably want to do this activity outside to avoid paint splattering on furniture or walls.
4. Fireworks Paint Bombs
Need more outdoor painting crafts for kids? Combine art and science with this fun paint experiment. It’s sort of like creating a paint volcano, and is perfect to do around the Fourth of July or whenever you want a different and unique painting experience with your kids.
In a plastic quart-sized zip-top bag, combine one cup of vinegar with two tablespoons of paint. Seal the bag. Then, fill a muffin liner with two tablespoons of baking soda.
Outside, place a large piece of butcher paper or posterboard on the ground. Place the bag in the center and open it slightly to toss in the muffin liner. Then stand back to watch the baking soda and vinegar mix until the bag explodes, leaving behind a paint splatter on the paper. Repeat as many times as you want.
5. Toilet Paper Roll Painting
You can also paint fireworks with an empty toilet paper tube. Cut slits into one end and bend them back. Dip the end into paint and press down on your paper. When you lift up, it looks like the pattern of a firework.
You could also cut the end of the toilet paper tube to make triangular panels you can bend back that, when stamped into paint, end up looking like painted flowers.
6. Bubble Wrap Painting
One of my favorite ways to add texture and interest to a work of art, whether it’s something my daughter is making or one of my scrapbook layouts, is to paint with bubble wrap. We always have some bubble wrap laying around, thanks to all the online ordering we’ve been doing, so I just cut out a small square, dip the bubble wrap into the paint or paint the bubble wrap with a paintbrush, and then press down on my paper. Lift up to reveal the circular bubble wrap pattern on your page!
7. Crayon Resist Watercolor Painting
Kids will love the surprise of revealing a secret message or a hidden picture with this easy painting idea. On a white piece of paper, draw a design or words with a white crayon. Then, let kids paint on the paper using watercolors. As they paint, the crayon message will be revealed.
8. Dot Art with Cotton Swab
Traditional paintbrushes are a great medium, but if you do not have any, you can always use a cotton swab. Grab a few cotton swabs, one for each color of paint you have. Kids can either create dot art by dabbing the cotton swab on their paper, or they can paint lines and shapes in much the same way as using a paintbrush. In fact, painting with a cotton swab might be easier than using a paintbrush for little kids.
9. Fork Painting
For more easy painting ideas for kids, look no further than your kitchen. Grab a plastic fork and some paint, and go to town using the fork tines as your painting tool. My daughter has used a plastic fork to paint a paper plate to look like a Thanksgiving turkey, but you could also paint another animal (the fork tines do a great job of mimicking fur) or even a Christmas tree.
10. Edible Bread Painting
Another in-the-kitchen painting activity is to make edible bread paint. I remember doing this one with my mom when I was a kid. The “paint” is just a mixture of sugar and food coloring. (I think gel food coloring works best.) Mix a little bit of sugar with a little bit of food coloring until the sugar has dissolved. Then paint away on a piece of white bread. And eat!
As you can see, whether you are using a traditional canvas or a slice of bread, there are many ways to elevate the classic arts and crafts activity of painting. Hopefully, you will try out all of these painting ideas for kids and let them inspire you to come up with your own unique and easy painting ideas for kids.