If you’re looking for some easy and fun painting ideas for kids, you’ve come to the right place! Below you’ll find various painting projects and activities for a wide variety of ages. From toddler-friendly painting ideas to painting ideas for young children and older children. Painting is a great way to both build self-esteem of kids and also to help them develop their creativity.
There are a few types of paints that are both safe and easy for kids to use. The types are: acrylic paints, tempera paints, washable paints, watercolor paints, food coloring /DIY paints and fluid paints. I’ll go over them in detail below.
Types of Paints
Acrylic Paint /Craft Paint. This is the most popular choice as it’s easy to use with a variety of projects. Keep in mind that acrylic paints are permanent so once dried they don’t wash off.
Tempera Paint.Very similar to acrylic paint but is washable in nature. It dries matte and fades in color over time compared to acrylic that dries glossy and doesn’t fade as much. Use tempera paints for cheap projects where the longevity of the colors doesn’t matter.
Washable Paints. Some brands like Crayola carry a line of paints that are both designed for kids and are washable.
Watercolor Paint.Watercolor paints are quite different in nature compared to acrylics/tempera. Watercolors are transparent while acrylics are opaque. Both acrylic and watercolor are water soluble, however watercolors are not permanent. If water touches any dried paint, the paint will reactivate, unlike acrylics which are permanent once dried.
Food Coloring / DIY Paints, Food coloring is another cheap/easy item that can be used in kid-friendly paint recipes (below). You can use food coloring to create ice paints, DIY sidewalk chalk/paint, bath paints, use in salt paintings and even create some safe edible paints.
Fluid Paints: Kids can make some messy and fun pour paintings with a more fluid type of paint. Use acrylics paints or washable paints mixed with a pouring medium to make fluid paint. Once mixed with the pouring medium the paints become fluid and kids can tilt their canvases to move the paint in different designs.
Types of Brushes
The best of of brushes to use with acrylics is synthetic brushes. You can get a variety pack with different shapes and sizes. Kids can use the brushes to make different marks and get creative with them.
Types of Surfaces
Kids can use a variety of surfaces with acrylics. A few of them are listed below.
Acrylic paints / art supplies can be safe to use, but it’s best to still supervise kids (especially young kids). You’ll want to make sure they use them responsibly, and don’t in-jest it/ inhale them. It’s also important to make sure the paints you use are safe for kids.
The pigments in some high end acrylic paints can contain some chemicals (like lead, cobalt, chromium, cadmium, and manganese). To rest assured the paints don’t have harmful/toxic ingredients in them you can look out for the AP (Approved Product) Seal by ACMI (The Art & Creative Materials Institute).
Kid-Friendly Painting Ideas
Below you’ll find 83 fun, easy and creative painting ideas for kids. Theres something for all ages from toddlers, and younger and older kids a-like!
83 Painting Ideas For Kids
A collection of fun, creative and easy painting ideas and art activities for kids of all ages.
This gorgeous rose is a simple painting project for kids to get into. They'll use black glue as the outline of the rose (free stencil is included in the post). Then they'll fill it in with some vivid watercolor paints.
Learn to draw and paint a butterfly in an aesthetic pink sunset with clouds and stars. This tutorial would work best for older children. Tutorial also includes step by step instructions on how to draw the butterfly.
The kids will have fun painting these easy peasy fork tulips. They'll simply use a fork, dip it in their paint and stamp tulips down on their paper or canvas. Great Spring craft/activity and easy enough for young children to paint.
Summer is the perfect time to paint outdoors. Make some simple DIY sidewalk chalk with cornstarch and food coloring in this easy painting idea for the kids. Give them a bunch of paint brushes and let the driveway be their canvas!
This painting idea is a creative way that combines a lesson in chemistry with art. Kids will have so much fun watching the reaction between vinegar and baking soda "fizz" while ending up with a nifty moon painted texture effect.
This magical sun and moon painting comes to life with some oil pastels to give texture in this layered watercolor painting. First the sun and moon is drawn on with a black marker, then kids use a combo of oil pastels and watercolors in layers.
Rock painting is an easy and cheap painting idea for kids. Get them to find rocks around the neighbourhood, then get them to get creative with some paints and brushes. If you're also looking for new ideas, this post will go over a few to their creative juices flowing.
This fun art activity gets the kids to have fun with splatter painting overtop simple yet dramatic black paint. Use the blank masking tape marks for the kids to write or draw in words that inspire them.
The kids will have fun with this summer inspired painting idea. Use some cardstock to cut out some dragonfly shapes. Then get the kids to paint in their own designs with a dotting method using q-tips and different colored paints.
This super fun summer painting idea for kids is sure to be a hit! Take some simple water guns and mix in some acrylic paint and water for a fun afternoon painting outdoors. Add this to your collection of art projects to try.
This simple painting idea for the kids uses masking tape to create a geometric design (kids can have fun creating their own design). Then they have can have fun adding paint colors overtop. The fun part is when they remove the tape to reveal their beautiful art.
Take a childhood favourite activity of blowing bubbles and create an a fun painting with it. Simply add a couple drops of food coloring to the bubble solution and a simple piece of paper and let the kids enjoy making their bubble art creation.
Even the little kids can learn to paint with this completely edible, yogurt-based paint recipe! The best thing about this project? You don't have to worry about young kids putting paints into their mouths since its 100% edible.
Looking for creative ideas on how kids can use paints? This unorthodox painting idea uses washable paint on a window (great rainy day activity). Use masking tape to give your kids they "canvas" on the window and let them enjoy painting it in! Keep in mind the kind of paint you use is important - make sure you use washable paints.
This fun flower painting idea uses black oil pastel to trace the outline of the large flower. Then the kids can use some simple watercolors to paint in the petals and background. Makes a great painting idea for school-aged kids.
Watch kids creative side come to life with these cute monsters using a fun fork swiping method. They can have fun making their monsters in variety of ways, sizes, different shapes and colors. Kids can even add googly eyes as a finishing touch to this adorable craft.
Flowers are one of the easiest things to paint, even for kids! This post will go over ideas and new techniques like a fun tulip painting with a fork , q-tip lavender flowers, a fun flower finger painting idea, using a plastic bottle as a flower stamp, etc..
This easy painting idea uses some gorgeous sunset colors using different brush strokes. Then kids can paint in their birds using a stencils (free download in post) to create this bird silhouette art project.
This sparkly winter process art activity is a fun winter painting idea kids can try. This project uses paints, glue and epsom salts to create the funky texture and glittery effect. It's a great way for kids to explore adding different textures into their paints.
This unique and fun art project and activity will be sure to delight kids of all ages. Use simple marbles dipped in paint and get them to move them around on paper or canvas using a shallow cardboard box.
If you have extra bubble wrap laying around your home, you can use it in this simple bubble wrap painting idea. This activity is easy enough for younger children but can still be fun for the older kids too.
Get the kids to paint fun fireworks on black construction paper (could be used a 4th of July craft). This painting idea uses a toilette paper roll that's been cut into strips then used as a stamp. Kids can grab their own paint colors to make the fireworks.
Take the kids on a nature walk and collect items like feathers, sticks, leaves, flowers, pebbles or pinecones. Then use these items as a fun stamp to create a nature inspired painting idea thats toddler friendly.
This winter inspired snowflake painting uses masking tape to create the snowflake pattern. The kids can then use watercolor paints overtop to paint the background. Then get them to sprinkle on some salt over the wet paint to create a nifty effect!
Another sidewalk chalk recipe, this time it's a raised puffy paint that the kids can paint on the sidewalk/driveway using squeeze bottles. Simple ingredients like shaving cream, baking soda, food coloring, etc.
Aren’t these leaf prints beautiful? Your preschooler will love painting leaves and can easily do this! It's an excellent way to get kids out in nature to collect different leaves and then to use them in this painting activity.