Budget Friendly Spring Activities with Children: Painting

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Because I was really inspired by the Picasso quote from yesterday’s post, we are going to keep with a similar theme today and expand on creative art. Yesterday’s topic of chalk art has me exploring with all things art!

Creative art activities are one of my favorite things to do with my son (does that make me selfish?). I like to tap into my creative side here and there and just let loose a bit on being a kid again. I truly don’t think he minds in the least!

Yesterday, I talked about how important it is for us parents to get involved in our children’s creativity. When we get on their level, we often find ourselves needing that little bit of escape as well for our own sanity. Art time or creative time helps us to let loose a bit and recharge. You should try it!

So, let’s dig in on this simply, fun, and budget friendly spring activity that you can do with your children at pretty much any age!


This morning was a gloomy and rainy kind of morning (typical of spring to just throw in those random rain days). My son hates being locked up in the house. But I made sure to make it a promising time for him with some painting activities!

This activity can be developed into various avenues. There is no limit to what you can do or create with paint. The age of your child will depend a lot on what activities you may want to incorporate with them.

For my experience, I have a young toddler who’s skills are advancing quickly. One day he can’t scoop out his own oatmeal from the bowl and the next day? He eats a full bowl of it on his own. Who knew?However, I keep in mind that his skills, although basic, are advancing quicker or slower based on the activities we engage him with.

Painting is fun for a spring time activity because you can use the beautiful weather (or lack thereof) as inspiration on what to create. You can also associate flower colors to the colors of the paint to get your kiddo on the ball with learning their colors. Fun and learning combined? Another win-win!

Finger Painting

Finger painting is one of the most basic forms of painting that you can do. This is also where your child’s love of art can begin to flourish! My toddler loves squishing the paint in his hands and then going to town on a piece of paper.

For this activity, I start out with a basic piece of white paper (the paper actually came inside the painting set that I purchased). I put a small amount of paint in each quadrant of the paper. There are four colors in the paint set so just a small amount of each works perfectly.

This next part WILL get messy so make sure your child is wearing a shirt that you don’t mind getting dirty (better yet, just take off the shirt). Also, Amazon sells these really cute art smocks!

Basically, all you need to do is set them free on the paints! I had to show my son the first time to dip his finger in the paints and once he understood what to do, it was all over from there. He loved it!

Painting with a Brush

I have years of experience working in early childhood education and one thing I know toddlers love to do is paint! They love to paint, especially with a paintbrush. A paintbrush is less messy and while most toddlers like the messy parts, some of them don’t always enjoy such a sensory overload right away.

If this is your child’s first experience with paint and they don’t seem super jazzed about putting their fingers into something they are unfamiliar with, then try using a paintbrush. The paintbrush will build up those fine motor and manipulative skills!

With the paintbrush, your child can see what this paint stuff is really all about. They can see how to work the paints to create art and even mix paints to get a different color. Although, this can still get a bit messy. My son likes using a paintbrush too, but he also tries to paint his face with it!

Expanding on the Experience

For the learning experience, be sure to expand on what it is they are doing. A great example would be to tell them something like, “I see you’re using the red and blue paint together!” In addition, “The yellow paint that you are using is the same color as your socks!” This part doesn’t have to be extravagant. However, it helps your child associate the names of the colors and associate other daily objects with that color.

For older children, try setting up a way for them to mix primary colors to make other colors! This is a bit of a science combo art project. However, it would be fun for them to see how many variations of colors they can come up with.

What Else?

What other ways have you used paints with your children? How do you expand on their creativity? Recently, I mentioned in another spring activities post that you can also use paints to create sensory bags as well! Paints provide so many opportunities for fun, don’t you think?!


Samantha <3

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Budget Friendly Spring Activities with Children: Painting

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About The Author

First time parent to an incredible little boy residing in Northern California. I hold my M.A. in Education with a Specialization in Culturally Responsive Education. My mission is to consistently provide helpful content for other parents to draw from. Parenthood is ever-changing! I look forward to sharing my experiences with you and hope that my posts are insightful.


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