education · Learning Through Play

low prep painting activities

My four year old absolutely loves painting. He loves it so much that we paint almost daily. Our basic set up is always the same (you can check it out here), but we do like to mix things up with what we paint. Adding some variety helps get my two year old more interested as well.

I love to come up with fun learning opportunities for my boys, but sometimes there simply isn’t enough time, so here are a few low prep painting activities that we enjoy.

Pom Pom Painting

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Low Prep Painting Activities by goldilocks + her three cubs

Painting in general promotes fine motor skills, but our version of pom pom painting takes it to a whole new level. I start by putting out a few colors of paint, and I plop a coordinating pompom in each one. I then give each boy a clothespin. They must pick up the pom pom with their clothespin and drop it back in the correct color before switching colors. The boys simply dab the paper with their pom poms, and they love it!

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Bubble Wrap Painting

Low Prep Painting Activities by goldilocks + her three cubs

This is probably the simplest of my low prep painting activities. I give my boys some paper, a few brushes, and a few different sized pieces of bubble wrap. The design of the bubble wrap is so interesting that I can get away with only one color of paint (which means less brushes to wash). The boys paint the bubble wrap and then flip the paint side onto paper and press. That’s it! The texture can be used to paint alligators, mermaids, dinosaurs, pebbles, etc.

Low Prep Painting Activities by goldilocks + her three cubs

Toilet Paper Tube Painting

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We hoard toilet paper tubes for all kinds of projects, and they are great for painting. You can use them to paint bubbles, planets, balloons, flowers, snowmen, anything round that you can think of. Instead of putting the paint in our usual egg cartons I just put it in a shallow dish or on a divided tray. Dip the end of the tube in paint and then press it on paper to create perfect circles. As an alternative, put dots of paint down the length of the tube and have kiddos roll it on paper. This does require you to continuously put paint on the tube and requires more clean-up, so save it for a day when you don’t need the kids to play independently. In other words, not the best activity during dinner prep.

Have you ever tried unconventional tools for painting? Tell me about them!

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