10 Simple Painting Ideas For Toddlers To Try


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Is your little one doodling all over the walls of your house? Fret not! It’s time to introduce painting to them. It is a playful sensory experience and a creative activity for toddlers. It fills them with imaginative ideas and the use of various colors can get them happy and excited.

Read this post to find some creative techniques and bring out the artist in your toddler through painting.

Is It Safe To Paint With A Toddler?

Painting with your toddler can be one of the best ways to bond and create lifelong memories filled with colors and laughter. However, you may not be sure if using paints with a toddler is safe as some colors could contain high chemical levels. Therefore, ensure to use non-toxic paints.

It is also important to perform this super fun and simple activity in a well-ventilated room to avoid any paint fumes or chemicals bothering the child. Younger children are more vulnerable and sensitive to strong paints and should be avoided. Consider paints mild for children to reduce the risk of any reactions.

Try finding paints for toddlers that do not contain volatile organic compounds or alkylphenol ethoxylates as can react with the hormones later. Most importantly, avoid the usage of paints containing antimicrobials or preservatives. Use natural and organic paints, to ensure the safety of your toddler (1).

Benefits Of Painting For Toddlers

Painting is not only a fun toddler activity but also offers various benefits. It helps children (2):

  • Express better
  • Convey emotions
  • Improve the sensory skills and build a stronger base to explore their senses.
  • Develop motor skills as the activity involves using a brush.
  • Develop their visual tastes and preferences by using primary colors, mixing secondary shades, etc.

10 Painting Ideas With Toddlers

Here are some painting activities that you could engage your toddler with:

1. Tie and dye a paper towel

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The toddler has to dip a pipette into the desired color and drop it on the towel. The paint will spread across, leaving a natural pattern. This can be repeated several times using different paint colors o cover all white patches.

2. Drippy watercolor art

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Place a plain white sheet on a board and ask your toddler to pour water paint on it. Make sure the quantity of paint being poured out is not too much and it’s consistency should not be thin either. Now, repeat the same using different colors. At the end, you will have an artwork that has formed a nice abstract pattern on its own.

3. Painting egg shells

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This is a simple activity but children need to be careful, so they don’t break the eggshell. You may ask them to paint the shells using colors of their choice and draw smileys or patterns over it to make them more fun.

4. Leaf painting

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You may help your toddler dip a leaf into paint and then place it on a white sheet. This will leave a beautifully painted leaf on the paper. Now your child may repeat the process using various colors. Turn it into a greeting card or frame this creation in your child’s room.

5. Spray painting

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Use a spray bottle and add some paint and water to it. Shake it well. Now, place a sheet on the big board and let your child spray paint the canvass creating abstract art.

6. Paint dot mural

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Let your child paint on a sheet of white paper using a paint dot. This may help them draw the design they want to and will be easier than using a brush.

7. Shell painting

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Give your toddler a couple of shells and ask them to paint them. Shells come in exciting shapes; therefore, painting them will make the activity exciting.

8. Watercolor stickers

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Instruct the toddler to cut strips of tape and paste it on the paper. Once it falls in place ask them to start painting in any direction. After they are done, remove the tape and your toddler will be thrilled to see the pattern.

9. Pouring watercolor

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Give your toddler a large sheet. Now pour watercolors in a glass. Let the toddler pour the colors in a random manner and wait until the paper blots and dries out. Repeating the same phenomena using many colors will give the toddler a colorful and beautiful pattern.

10. Painting on shapes of paper

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Cut pieces of paper into shapes of flowers, stars or hearts and ask the toddler to paint on it. After painting them, you can turn it into an extended decoration piece by sticking them on a string and using it as a wall hanging.

10 Tips & Tricks For Painting With Toddlers

Here are some tips for painting with toddlers and enjoying the effortlessly fun task (3):

  1. Keep the painting area tidy and attractive.
  1. Do remember to write their name and date on the canvas.
  1. Appreciate them for their progress and encourage them to do better.
  1. Appreciate how beautifully they have painted it, and talk to them about it.
  1. Arrange a safe corner to dry the paintings without disturbing the canvas so they don’t get spoilt.
  1. Display the painting at a prominent place in the house to encourage their skills.
  1. Teach them the trick of mixing different colors.
  1. Ensure all the lids of paints are closed when they are not being used to avoid spilling (1).

Painting for toddlers can be fun when taught right. It is vital for children to follow the instructions and learn step by step. It also improves their fine motor skills, creativity, color recognition and sensory integration; therefore, it is important to introduce your toddler to the idea of painting. You never know, your child may become the next big artist!


MomJunction’s articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Manjari Srivastava

Manjari Srivastava is a graduate of psychology. She also holds certificates in Basics In Clinical Psychology and Identifying Early Signs Of Psychosis In Adolescents And Young Adults.  Previously, she volunteered with an NGO specializing in positive psychology, where she took up individual counseling sessions for students. She also taught English to underprivileged children and helped them with their studies. At MomJunction,… more

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