Every time I paint with my toddler, we end up covered in paint. Her hands and feet are covered, the paper is covered and so is the splat mat I put down on the floor. I am left with a child to wash before tackling the brushes and sponges and whatever paint the splat mat didn’t catch. But not with this activity. This easy painting activity for kids is less mess and less to wash up. There is still the reward of the finished product without the dreaded clean up.

This painting activity is great for kids as:

  • they can start to learn about what happens when you mix colours
  • it is a sensory experience to press the paint between the sheets of paper
  • the cards can be used as personalised birthday or Christmas cards
  • you won’t be so worried about all the mess they are making and can enjoy the activity more!

What you will need

kids painting activitiesbaking paper
wooden kebab sticks
kids craft paint
cards or something else to paint on (we used index cards picked up at Daiso for $2.80)
plastic sheet or other splat mat, just in case
baby wipes or a wet cloth (handing for any spills or over zealous paint pours)


Choose a few colours and pour a little of each into the centre of a sheet of baking paper. Don’t worry too much about how much you pour out, but as a guide 1/2 teaspoon is probably enough.painting activity for kids

Using the kebab sticks, swirl the paint around the page. This step isn’t really compulsory as you will still end up with some cute works of art without it, but it’s fun for the kids. They will love the swirly patterns they can make and it also adds a bit of time to the activity!

less mess easy painting activities for kids

Carefully press your card or cardboard down on top of the paint and press firmly to push it out to the edges.

painting activities for toddlers

Lift up the card and you will have a fun, textured print. Set aside to dry.

children painting


  • if you have used too much paint and there is quite a lot left on the baking paper, press another card down to make another painting and use up the paint
  • wipe the kebab sticks with a baby wipe in between cards so you don’t go through too many
  • keep a plastic bag handy to throw the used baking paper into. You can also clean the baking paper with a wipe and turn it over to use the other side if you want to limit wastage
  • don’t do this outside on a windy day unless you have some paper weights around!

Do your kids love to paint? How do you try and minimise the mess?

Cotton On (AU)

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