Tips to Painting with toddlers at home (1 and 2 year olds)

If you are worried how to do painting activities at home, read on because these are the best tips I have learned to make this process less painful and actually enjoyable when doing it inside.

Messy activities are not for everyone and some parents avoid painting at home with toddlers. They leave that to the daycare of avoid it all together. But painting with babies and toddlers doesn’t have to be a stressful time. As long as you are well prepared, cleanup should be a lot easier.

You know how important sensory play is but don’t know what to do to reduce the mess. Don’t worry! because I’m going to give to the tips I do at home and when I teach the sensory class.

5 Tips when Painting with Toddlers

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Do you embrace paint or run the other way?

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Tip #1. Prepare The Area

Before you even invite your toddler to come paint, you must prepare the area.
Choose a table and chair where your toddler can comfortably sit on. It could be the high chair, a toddler table, or the dining room table.

I like to have a sitting place because the less they move around the room, the less chance they have to put paint everywhere.

Protect the floor by placing a disposable table cover under the table to protect the floor. Use a splash mat, an old blanket or a towel.
If you want to do free paint, where they can move around or a project that requires them to walk through the canvas like painting footsteps, then if the weather allows, do it outside.

Tip #2. Large canvas area

Painting With Toddlers
Painting With Toddlers is easier if you have an area set up

Have you seen a kid learn how to write? Their letters are large and as they learn to master the art of writing they reduce the size. It is the same with painting, toddlers need to work on large paper before they can move on to smaller ones. So grab an xl notebook that covers a large area. ( I use an XL sketch pad and just flip through the pages as we create new things. At the end, I am left with a beautiful book full of art pieces! I love it when I go back and see his little handprints on the different things we have done. As a tip- I add the date at the beginning of the book so that I can always go back and see how little my baby was when we did those projects.

tip #3 What to wear

Wear protective gear when Painting With Toddlers

I get it, you don’t want to ruin the pretty shirt you just got your toddler and you don’t have to. They sell long sleeve painting shirts that makes protecting their clothes a lot easier. Ikea had two sizes and I have used both.
when I do Free painting outside and Manu has to move around I just leave him in his diaper. Is easier to just put him in the bathtub once he is done that trying to get him out of dirty clothes.

Tip#4. How much paint to use

My most often advice that I give out is “only serve as much as you are willing to clean out”. Sometimes we think we need so much paint in order to do a painting activity with our kids, but you will find out that if you just pour a little bit at a time, clean us is easier.
when you know your painting required a lot of paint, use this hack from Stephanie to stabilize the painting station. She teaches classes and has never had an accident where a toddler accidentally tips it over. So it is toddler-proof!

painting with yogurt on a baby doll to practice body parts

Tip#5 join in

One of the most overlooked tips is this one. We often set up activities and want our toddlers to entertain. themselves. I do this often but from time to time I put the camera aside and join in. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Part of doing activities is to join in.

So take a deep breath and go for the messy activity! They won’t be a little too long!

Do it for the fun, do it for their development- hey do it for the photos! Embrace the mess and have a blast!

Need a little inspiration? check this out!