{Play} Painting With Brushes, Balls and Bodies

November 3, 2011 in All Posts, Play, Toddler Activities


The other day Jane looked up at me and said, “Mommy, I want to paint.”

“What do you want to paint?”

“Something HUMONGOUS!”

My first thought was, “Where in the heck did she learn that word?”

And my second was, “What humongous paintable thing do I have lying around the house?”

Initially, I thought we could paint the cardboard in the recycling bin and maybe turn it into a house or other structure like when she helped paint Sam’s cardboard pirate ship.

But as soon as I opened the patio door, I noticed a basket of balls and the lightbulb went off!


  • Easel paper, poster paper or paper bags headed for the recycling bin
  • Tape
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Tennis balls (or other small balls that can soak up paint and be rolled across your canvas – golf balls or whiffle balls would make some really interesting patterns!)

Step 1

Tape down your canvas.  We used easel paper from our favorite easel.

Step 2

Squirt your paints into a large container.  We used a gift box which was large enough for Jane to put her hands and feet into, as well as the tennis balls and paint brushes.

Step 3

Let your toddler have at it!

At first, Jane went for the brushes and was excited by the sheer size of the project.

Then – as always – she moved to handprints.

Eventually, she discovered the ball and rolled it around the canvas

and then bounced and pressed it into the paper.

Finally, she realized she could put her feet into the paint and run around!

She made “tracks” and tried to figure out who left them, using an imaginary magnifying glass.

I think she came up with a great idea!

What projects has your toddler inspired you to set up?

For more painting ideas, check out our:


LEARN!  Gross motor skills, body movement

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Chrissy – who has written posts on The Outlaw Mom® Blog – Creative Living in a Conventional World.

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