I talk a lot about how much I love kid art, so today I put together some ideas for painting with little ones! I've loved painting since I was old enough to hold a brush so it's no surprise my own children would follow suit. It's not uncommon for them to spend a good Saturday morning completely engrossed in their painting! Here are a few tips I've picked up for painting with the 10 and under crowd.


Putting down a drop cloth wherever the kids are going to paint is a lifesaver and makes cleanup so much easier. I like to use 3 yards of oilcloth fabric, you can find it in most fabric stores, or even use an old tablecloth. To protect the kids' clothing, I just have them throw on these oversized white tees as painting shirts or the older ones will wear a canvas painting apron. And for quick clean ups of paint on little hands or chairs, I always have a pack of Honest Co wipes on hand!


I tend to stick to acrylic and watercolors for the little ones. Some of our favorite paints are the basics and apple barrel paints, we have a lot of these and the kids will mix the colors to make the exact shades they want. I also really love the martha stewart acrylic paint, especially their pretty metallics! For watercolors, I like the simply art watercolors that I can get in bulk packs on amazon, and also the kid made modern paints at Target stores. The older kids also use these faber castle watercolor pencils and these are my favorite washable paints for toddlers!


One of the best painting tips I read when the kids were little was to get them good quality painting paper. There is nothing like painting on office paper and having it shrivel up from the watercolors, so just don't bother. We like this water color paper and these canvases. I also find the artist's loft canvases at Michael's stores and they often have 50% deals which I use to get the really big canvases or bulk packs. I'm also a big fan of saving cardboard for the little ones to paint on!


I like having a variety of paint brushes and sponges for the kids to experiment with. These martha stuart paint brushes and mala ones from Ikea are really great. Also the kids love using sea sponges and these round sponges to make backgrounds and textures and shapes. We use these plastic artist palettes for their paints, or sometimes recycled lids or containers from the kitchen. I'm big on repurposing.


I am a huge fan of kids art hanging up around the house, but let's be honest, eventually their little paintings and drawings get worn down and start to fall apart. I tend to be really minimal when it comes to saving things, so I decided to just frame a select few pieces and then archive the rest of their  artwork digitally instead of saving boxes and boxes of dusty paper. So when their paintings are dry, I take photos or scan the artwork and have it printed in photo books. Like a coffee table book of kid art! What could be better?! Then we might hang it up for a month or so before recycling it. Sometimes we also repurpose their artwork by making bookmarks or cards, but for the most part, it's something we document and enjoy, and then get rid of. 


I love to use painting prompts during art time with kids. It's really fun to come up with a theme and then see how everyone interprets it differently in their art. A simple way to do this is to have all the children paint the same object, such as an apple or some flowers on the table. You can see how we painted foxes and jellyfish a few years back! You can also do artist studies where we study specific artists and then reproduce their paintings or try new styles of art. 

Really, the biggest tip I have for doing art with kids is just to let them be creative and make it their own. Happy painting!