Paint Pouring, Spin Art, and Other Unique Painting Ideas for Kids

So many creative ways to fill the world with color!

Painting Ideas for Kids

Give kids a paintbrush and a box of watercolors, and they can stay busy for hours all on their own. But, did you know there are plenty of other ways to get creative with paint? You can paint with bubbles, use salt for texture, or even build a paint pendulum. They’re all here in this roundup of incredible painting ideas for kids!

1. Add salt for interesting texture

Painting Ideas for Kids

Salt painting is part art project, part science experiment. The hygroscopic quality of salt allows it to absorb liquid paint, creating cool textures and patterns.

Learn more: Little Bins for Little Hands

2. Give trendy paint pouring a try

This has become one of the most popular painting ideas for kids and adults alike, and it’s as easy as it is fun! The abstract results are incredibly mesmerizing.

Learn more: S&S Blog

3. Mix black glue with watercolors

Grab some black craft glue (or mix your own) and use it to outline a design. Then fill it in with soft watercolors for a gorgeous lesson in contrast.

Learn more: Arty Crafty Kids

4. Cool off with ice paint

Painting Ideas for Kids

Beat the summer heat with a batch of paint ice cubes. They’re lots of fun to play with outside in the sun!

Learn more: Growing a Jeweled Rose

5. Dot a field of tulips

Lots of painting ideas for kids use household items in place of brushes. Cotton swabs are terrific for exploring pointillism—also known as dot painting.

Learn more: Projects With Kids

6. Use a power drill to make spin art

This is one of the coolest painting ideas for kids we’ve seen! It’s as simple as sticking a piece of paper on a drill bit. (Supervise little ones with this, please.)

Learn more: Hello Wonderful

7. Mix up a batch of puffy paint

Make your own puffy paint, which dries to a light foamy texture. Oh, and it only takes three ingredients!

Learn more: Sunlit Spaces

8. Explore the art of symmetry

Painting Ideas for Kids

The concept is simple, but the art you can create with it is endlessly fascinating! Get free printable outlines at the link to use with this project.

Learn more: Kid Minds

9. Create a stained glass effect with wax paper

Painting Ideas for Kids

Change the appearance of regular paint by using it with wax paper! This project idea uses bottle caps to make unique designs.

Learn more: Happy Hooligans

10. Make a masterpiece on foil

While you’re raiding the kitchen pantry, grab some aluminum foil and use it instead of paper for this painting idea inspired by the great Van Gogh.

Learn more: Messy Little Monsters

11. Clean up with bath paints

Use these in the classroom for an extra fun lesson on hand washing, or send the recipe home for families to mix up a batch for bath time.

Learn more: Modernly Morgan

12. Wrap yarn to make birch trees

Painting Ideas for Kids

Yarn wrapped around canvas creates the birch trees in this clever project. Use this technique for lots of other interesting patterns.

Learn more: The Pinterested Parent

13. Paint with pom poms

Painting Ideas for Kids

No paintbrushes? Make your own! Use clothespins to grab pom poms or cotton balls, dip them in paint, and away you go!

Learn more: Crafty Morning

14. Head outside with sidewalk chalk paint

Fill your summer with outdoor painting ideas for kids, like this DIY sidewalk chalk paint. (The secret ingredient is cornstarch.)

Learn more: The Best Ideas for Kids

15. Pull yarn through paint

Painting Ideas for Kids

Yarn painting is another one of those trendy painting ideas for kids and adults, and once you try it, you’ll see why. The funky results are so fun to display!

Learn more: Buggy and Buddy

16. Drip alcohol onto acrylic paint

Start by painting a rainbow of color onto a canvas and allowing it to dry. Follow it with a layer of black acrylic paint. Now comes the fun part: dip a brush in alcohol and fling it at the canvas, and the colors reappear like magic!

Learn more: Josie Lewis

17. Marbleize paper with shaving cream

Can you believe you can get these gorgeous results using shaving cream? It’s true! Learn how it works at the link.

Learn more: Happy Hooligans

18. Swing a paint-filled pendulum

Here’s another one of those painting ideas for kids that combines art and science. Construct a simple pendulum bucket and fill it with paint. Then send it swinging to see what sorts of designs you can create!

Learn more: Hello Wonderful

19. Blow a straw-painted peacock

More painting ideas for kids that start in the kitchen! Use ordinary drinking straws to blow watercolors around the page, creating this glorious peacock.

Learn more: The Pinterested Parent

20. Fingerpaint, Monet-style

Painting Ideas for Kids

Start by using masking tape to outline a bridge. Then, dab color onto the page to create a Monet-style masterpiece. Finish by peeling the tape off to reveal the white bridge beneath.

Learn more: The Crafty Classroom

21. Create fork-painted monsters

These monsters are more sweet than scary, so they’re perfect for little hands to create … using forks!

Learn more: Our Kid Things

22. Find inspiration in nature

Painting Ideas for Kids

Take a nature walk and gather up leaves, flowers, grasses, and more. Then come home and use them to paint; they’ll create a wide variety of textures and patterns you can’t get from traditional brushes.

Learn more: Messy Little Monster

23. Try painting with bubbles

As if blowing bubbles isn’t fun enough, try adding paint! You’ll make the coolest art prints to display or even turn into note cards.

Learn more: Early Learning Ideas

24. Snap some rubber bands

Okay, this one is a bit messy, but so fun! Stretch rubber bands across a box or pan, brush on some paint, and snap to create.

Learn more: Craftulate

25. Roll a ball through paint

Rubber balls or marbles are ideal for this simple painting activity. Use washable paint and you can clean them off and return them to the toy box when you’re done.

Learn more: The Keeper of the Memories

26. Scrape paint across the page

Painting Ideas for Kids

Paint scraping is easy enough for little kids, but fun enough for everyone. Learn how it works at the link.

Learn more: The Best Ideas for Kids

27. Make a mess with splat painting

Yeah, this one is definitely gonna make a mess. But your kids are going to have so much fun, you won’t mind wiping up afterward. 

Learn more: Taming Little Monsters

28. Let gravity do the work

Painting Ideas for Kids

Let the paint flow down like rain with this easy painting project. Add some cotton balls for clouds when you’re done.

Learn more: A Little Pinch of Perfect

29. Bring on the bubble wrap

Bubble wrap is always fun to play with, but when you add paint, you can make some seriously cool art.

Learn more: Art Crafty Kids

30. Craft coffee filter tutus

Add watercolors to coffee filters to make the prettiest, most delicate ballerina tutus ever!

Learn more: The Best Ideas for Kids

Ready for more ways to inspire creativity in kids? Check out the 12 Best Free Online Art Resources for Kids.

Plus, 25 Brilliant Rainbow Crafts and Activities.

Paint Pouring, Spin Art, and Other Unique Painting Ideas for Kids

Posted by Jill Staake

Jill Staake is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She's spent most of her life teaching in traditional classrooms and beyond, from 8th grade English to butterfly encounters, and believes learning is a life-long process.

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