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Painting with Kids is Worth the Mess

color coded mansion design by a child

Painting with kids can be a hassle to set up and a mess to clean up, but painting with kids is worth the mess! My kids have been doing a lot of painting lately. It’s a nice, calm activity that they enjoy outside of school, and it is a fun way for them to get creative while exploring colors and textures and building their fine motor skills! We always use Crayola washable paint (affiliate link). It produces beautiful, bright colors, and has washed out of every outfit I have tested in eight years of having kids paint now!

Today, I’m sharing one painting from each child, and ending with links to lots of fun painting activities! The one above is eight-year-old Emma’s color-coded version of the dream house whose design she continues to perfect.

painting is worth the mess

Six-year-old Johnny tends to approach painting as a sensory experience – often painting with his hands. If you look at the edges of his painting, you can see that he explored with colors individually before ending with a jumble of colors turned into brown for his top layer.

Painting allows kids to explore colors and develop skills

Five-year-old Lily has always enjoyed color blocking, and lately she loves to add dots of white glue on top of blocks of color. I still love the little color blocked ducks she colored when she was two!

painting helps kids develop fine motor skills

Two-year-old Anna loves painting as much as her siblings – and it is a great opportunity for her to build her fine motor skills! She has gotten pretty good at working with a paintbrush!

Painting takes a little more setup and cleanup than some projects, but I think the benefits make it worth the effort! It is a quiet, peaceful activity that gets kids thinking while they build their fine motor skills!

Fun Ways to Paint with Kids

Are you ready to paint with your kid? Here are some fun ideas from my Afterschool linky co-hosts!

And here are a few activities from this blog:

afterschool linky

Since we are talking about painting, be sure to check out this corn painting activity that Enchanted Homeschooling Mom linked up last week, as well as this moon shadow model from Doodles and Jots has nothing to do with painting but is well worth trying with your kids!

What activities are your kids enjoying after school? I hope you will share your posts below! By linking up you give the linky hosts permission to feature your post and to pin it to our After School Activities board on Pinterest.

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

14 thoughts on “Painting with Kids is Worth the Mess”

  1. My preschooler would paint all day if the baby would let her. It’s so much fun to see them learn and explore through art. Thanks for the post and sharing some of your family’s fabulous art!

  2. Anna’s art is pretty amazing for a two year old. We haven’t painted in a while, now I am itching to get them out!
    Thanks for the feature also!

  3. I prefer your mess-free paint-in-a-bag activity. ;) Or watercolours. But my kids do love the messy paint! And your children’s paintings are wonderful.

  4. We always seem to have a sink with paintbrushes and wipes near by for messes and the kids love it. Right now they’re into water colors quite a bit. Love watching the stages of painting as you look at siblings. Totally worth the mess at our house!

  5. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    I love how different their paintings are. It also cracked me up that Emma drew one bedroom with many beds in it for her house :)

  6. As our son’s only 17 months old, we haven’t done much painting with him yet. That said, we’re big fans of doing a bit of messy play now and again!

  7. Painting with the kids is definitely worth the effort. When my boys were really little, I would have them paint with things that they could also eat – like whipped cream or pudding. They really liked that.

    Your kids’ paintings illustrate something I’ve read about how boys and girls see differently. Boys have more rods in their eyes, which help us to see distance and speed while girls have more cones, which help us to see color and shape. Because of this difference, boys tend to draw verbs with less color variation while girls tend to draw nouns with lots of different colors. Isn’t it interesting to know why they do things differently? :)

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