Paint and toddlers seem like two words that should not be used together in the same sentence. But, toddlers are incredibly creative and have that joy of painting that so many adults miss! Whether you do this for a birthday party or to earn some extra income in the summers, here’s how to host a toddler paint party.

There’s just something about doing art with kids that makes me so happy. They have this unchecked joy and energy, and truly commit to the creative process.

That being said, there are some special considerations when it comes to a toddler paint party. This post will help you get ready for a fun, messy event!

Kids with messy hands after painting

Is painting good for toddlers?

Yes, painting is great for developing motor skills. It also is a wonderful sensory activity for kids too as toddlers tend to paint more with their hands than brushes!

Plus, painting is also a creative outlet where kids can feel successful because they are creating something that you can hang on the wall or put in a frame. And… it’s just fun!

What do I need to buy for the toddler paint party?

toddler paint party supplies

Luckily, the supply list is fairly short – like I said, kids are creative! You’re going to need art supplies, but you can usually find most things at your local grocery or craft store. No need to bring out the fancy stuff for a toddler paint party!

You’ll want a few basic supplies: non-toxic paint, brushes (toddlers love painting with their hands too!), and paper plates to squirt the paint onto. To keep things as clean as possible, I also recommend newspapers for the floor and smocks for the kids. Baby wipes and napkins are great too.

Feeling extra brave? Why not add some glitter to the mix!

If you are doing this as part of a birthday party or event, you may need some festive items too – like balloons!

How do you teach toddlers to paint?

The key to a successful toddler paint party is not that different than how to have a successful paint party for adults! Simply set up a low-pressure painting environment for the toddler!

This can be done in two ways: either letting them paint whatever they want on their own or guiding them through the process of making an art piece themselves (such as tracing around shapes and then filling in).

The point is to introduce them to the joy of art and basic ideas of painting, not to create a masterpiece…although that won’t stop mom and dad from hanging it on their fridge! 😉

child painting the background of a canvas with a cow on it

What kind of art can toddlers do?

There are so many fun things that you can help the kids create at a toddler paint party! Here are a few ideas:

  • have the kids fingerpaint with paint on paper plates, then turning the plate upside down to make designs or shapes. This is great for practicing hand control!
  • paint pictures with brushes onto paper and then cut them out to make a collage of shapes, animals, or objects.
  • finger paint on the floor using paint whirled around in a plastic container like an ice cream bucket. This is great for practicing hand control as well!
  • use paintbrushes to create straight and squiggly lines and dots.
  • help the kids paint a simple shape like an oval or rectangle. Or, trace out shapes on a canvas and let them paint them in.
  • trace out each child’s name on your canvas, then let them paint it in! Alternatively, you could let them paint the canvas and then use a stencil to add their name on top of their handiwork.
  • draw a shape on the canvas and have them paint the background around the shape. You may need to stick with a basic shape and add painter’s tape to it, depending on how young the child is.

Remember, it’s all about the experience! Just let them explore and have fun.

Paper plate filled with colorful paints

Join Paint Party Headquarters

If you want to learn more about how to host successful paint parties, I invite you to join me in Paint Party Headquarters! This is where I take YEARS of hard work and tears and distill it down for you into the best nuggets. We are only open for a few days each year, so sign up on the waiting list – we’ll let you know once doors are open!

how to get kids painting with image of hands covered in paint