Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Little Paintings for Littles

Painting with littles is, let’s be honest, dangerous. There’s all that paint, and all those little fingers. Somehow, they manage to get paint in so many places! A little paint on the back of the chair they are sitting in, a little on the apron of the table, a splotch of paint on the light switch in the bathroom, and of course a lot of paint in and on the sink.

Mess aside, painting with littles sure is a lot of fun.

I found a great idea the other day for painting little paintings with little ones.

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I love the idea of using small pieces of paper because it means the kids only need small drops of paint. Using the leftover birthday party plates for this works great! They are the perfect size and easy clean-up means a lot when there are 40 little paint covered fingers at your kitchen table!

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The project called for using small painting instruments. I gave the kids cotton swabs, toothpicks, and paperclips.

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It’s such fun to watch them work and concentrate.

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A few easy tips make painting with littles a bit easier.

~A bit of painters tape (that blue kind that you use to tape off the baseboards) works great to attach a bit of newspaper to the table to protect the surface.

~Even better, invest in a cheap vinyl tablecloth that serves as your table cover just for arts and crafts (mine finally wore out completely and so a new one is on the list!).

~When finger painting with little ones on a table that is a bit expendable or very easy to clean, get the paper just a little damp before you put it on the table. The paints will glide on smoothly and the paper will stay in place.

~Buy only the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow, as well as some black and white. Let the kids mix their own colors. It’s great learning and it’s much easier on momma to keep up with the paints!

~Have an area ready for drying the paintings! A bit of newspaper on the kitchen counter works great.

~When the painting looks great, offer a new sheet of paper and move the completed work. Left on their own, small children tend to just keep adding more and more paint until the whole thing looks like mud.

~Label the paintings as soon as they dry with the child’s name and the month and year. Display them for awhile and then file away the best of the best in a special box or drawer.

~Let the younger kids leave the table when they are ready. I find that the attention spans of my little group fall in line with their ages. I do follow the rule of, “once you wash your hands, you are done.” Otherwise, I end up running around like a crazy woman trying to be everywhere at the same time.

Have fun painting! Don’t be afraid to sit down and join the kids. Painting is a lot of fun!

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A bit abstract, but it is very pretty and colorful!

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I think the glass doors to my porch were made for this kind of display!

Have fun!


  1. Those are great!! I let mine use water colors almost whenever they want, those are super easy to clean up also :). When I get out the "real" paint, as they call it, they are beside themselves with joy. And the vinyl tablecloth is an absolute must when it is to cold or rainy to just move our painting out onto the deck (that is my favorite place to paint, do playdough etc., you get the picture anything messy)!

  2. That's fun. I do something similar. Also when we need water colors, I will often just use small cups with a small amount of water and food coloring in them. Then I put a paint brush or Q-tip in each color to help keep the colors separate for a little longer.


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