Painting Activities For Toddlers {Using Toddler-Friendly Paints}

Our little munchkins love pretty much all kinds of messy play and painting will be no exception.

There are very few things better than seeing the sheer delight when they know they can go and create as much mess as possible.

In preparation for painting delights, it is best to find a free space and cover as much of the floor or reachable surfaces as possible to prevent any unwanted dirty fingers.

Or perhaps you could sit the future artists into their high chair and do this activity at the table. 

How To Make Toddler Friendly Paints

What better way to start off your little one’s painting adventures than by creating your own toxic-free paints.

This ensures that they are having lots of fun whilst your mind is at rest if the paints end up in their mouths.

We all know that is pretty much a guarantee!  


  • 2 Spoons of Flour
  • 6 Spoons of Water
  • Food Colouring

Quantities can be adjusted and reduced as desired.

Spoon of flour

Add 2 spoons of flour to each container you would like to use for the paints.

I have used rubber cupcake holders.

Cupcake containers filled with flour

Fill as many or as little ‘paint’ containers as you would like.

Add water and food colouring

Mix 6 spoons of water to the flour then add around 2 drops of food colouring depending how bright you would like the colour.

It is better to add less at first then gradually add more.

Finished paint result

Et voila – The paints are ready for some fun to be had!

Hand / Foot Prints

Our toddlers love to feel and touch different sensations each and every day.

The cold, wet feeling of the paint on their hands or feet (or both) will get them giggling and squirming in excitement.

You may even discover one of their ticklish spots.

Press the hands and feet on a piece of paper or card to leave their imprints.

This is a great way to mark milestones. Mark the date and age of your son / daughter to keep for memories.

You could periodically do this to see how much your cheeky little monkeys are growing.

You will be surprised how much they grow in such a small space of time! 

Paint Dots Under Cling Film

A relatively mess-free but just as satisfying painting activity for our little ones to do.

Place a piece of paper and use the paints to put small blobs of different coloured paints all around.

Put a sheet of cling film over the top of the paper.

Allow your little painters to touch and move the paint around which they will be able to see under the cling film.

They may try to scratch, push, squeeze and move the ‘undercover’ paint to cover as much of the paper as possible. 

Paint Inside Transparent Sandwich Bags

This painting activity keeps the messiness at bay but allows our toddlers to work on their coordination and fine motor skills by pressing on the paint areas inside the bag.  

All that is needed is a transparent sandwich bag that can be easily closed to prevent any escaping paint.

Put inside the bag lots of squeezes of paint in as many or as few colours as desired.

Close the bag and watch the fun begin.

This will be highly satisfying for our little ones as they will see the paint spread in all different directions.

They will soon understand that the more pressure that is placed on certain areas of the bag, the paint will spread. 

Paint Bath

Bath Paints Ingredients (found by

  • 1/2 cup of Johnson’s® Baby Head to Toe Wash
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • food colouring

A fast and easy clean activity for us mummies whilst at the same time knowing that our little cherubs have let their colouring creativity go wild!

It’s as easy as putting our toddlers into the bathtub and letting them free with some paints and a paintbrush.

They will LOVE changing the colour of the bathtub and learning to use their coordination by holding and painting with a brush.

The best part is, our little ones are already in the perfect place ready to be cleaned up after the activity.

Making Cards

We all know that when a new baby comes into the world they immediately become the centre of attention for everyone in the family and amongst friends.

They all love to see and hear about all the new things that the little ones learn and do.

What better way to put a big smile on each and everyone of their faces by making homemade greetings cards.

It could be for their birthdays, Christmas, Easter, Halloween or simply just to say how much we love them.

Draw a simple picture on the card in a thick black marker then let your toddlers go crazy with the paints on their fingers to ‘colour in’ the picture.

Even if the end result is a design full of splashes and splodges, your loved ones will treasure it forever.

Colour mixing

Do you remember your basic colouring mixing lessons from school mummies?

Blue + Yellow = Green, Red + Yellow = Orange, Red + White = Pink, Blue + Red = Purple.

What other colour combinations do you know?

Have a little fun with the colours and show your little munchkins the magic of colour mixing.

This is a great painting activity for both younger toddlers and slightly older toddlers when they can identify colours.

There is something very satisfying about mixing different colours together and experimenting to see the finishing results both for mummy too.

Let Loose Play

How brave are you feeling?!

Let your little Picasso discover painting for themselves and leave them to their own devices with the paints and paper.

I’m not sure who or what will be covered in the most paint at the end.

The happiness on our cheeky painters faces will be worth the mess.

You could try handing them various utensils to use to give different painting effects; 

  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Sponge
  • Potato cut in half
  • Foam shapes

Try other creative and interesting Things To Do With A 1 Year Old which may end up getting very messy too!

Pin this for later!

Super Fun & Cool Painting Activities For 1 Year Olds

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