Free Painting Ideas for Toddlers

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Art can be messy but I think that’s part of the reason why it’s fun. Especially art experiences for toddlers and babies, who are more likely to put paint on any surface except the piece of paper or easel. As part of our informal Tot School, I try to offer art on a weekly basis but sometimes more if Squeaker is showing an interest. Sometimes we do themed projects like our handprint and pom pom apple tree or toilet paper tube apple stamping. Recently though, I wanted to offer her options and so we put on some music and tried these free painting ideas instead.

Supplies needed:

  • paint (We used fingerpaint and Tempera paint)
  • clothespins
  • cotton balls
  • construction paper or art paper
  • willing participant

For our first set of free painting, after Squeaker finished her apple tree, I cleaned off her hands with a wet paper towel and then set the plate of fingerpaint next to the construction paper.

I wasn’t sure what she would do with it since we just finished palm painting, so I dipped the tip of my index finger into the paint to show her.

free painting for toddlers 1

She took to it right away and really enjoyed making dots on the paper with her fingertip.

free painting for toddlers 2

We’ll figure out what to do with her finished project later, even if it’s just saving it in our binder for the tot school year.

Our next project, I set up the “brush” for her by pinching a cotton ball in a clothespin. I had two plates of paint for her- red and green and laid out the paper.

free painting for toddlers 3

She got started right away with this one and definitely had a lot of fun!

free painting for toddlers 4

With her finished project, we’ll probably stencil some apples on it using one of our cookie cutters and then make a banner from that. Though I’m really not sure!

Squeaker had so much fun with these free painting ideas and honestly, it was just about enjoying the process instead of the finished product. After each project that we do, I intend to offer her free painting time so she can just create.

What free painting ideas have you tried?

Sometimes it's fun to just put on some music and paint. Here are two free painting ideas for toddlers that we recently enjoyed
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Kori

Content Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is an autistic mom who also happens to have ADHD and Anxiety. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodivergent family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. As an empath, HSP, and highly intuitive individual, Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori provides life coaching services for neurodivergent women (and those who identify as women) as well as Oracle card reading, Tarot card readings, and energy healing.

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