Painting is a wonderful learning opportunity for children, especially when it’s a hands-on experience. Young kids first learn through coloring, painting and drawing. Sensory play helps them develop fine motor skills, build language and calm emotions. Plus there’s no better way for kids to understand what happens when you mix blue and yellow (green!) than to see the magic happen for themselves.

Painting is a fun way to let kids explore their creative side, learn about colors and give you a few minutes to reheat that second cup of coffee! Below we’ve gathered some creative painting ideas for kids that are sure to capture their hearts and imaginations.

1. Kids’ Art Coasters

There’s only so much space to hang artwork on a fridge, so we love the longevity of these coasters using kids art from Mod Podge Rocks Blog. Not only can they make the artwork, but they can use the decoupage glue to craft the coasters.

2. Garden Wind Chimes

Music and art meet with these supremely giftable garden wind chimes from Sugar, Spice and Glitter. Not only do your little ones get to make chimes with string beads and leather, but they get to explore a new painting technique called pour painting. What kid doesn’t love to squeeze a whole tube of paint?

3. Blueberries for Sal Craft

This adorable craft from Heart of Deborah draws inspiration from the classic children’s book, “Blueberries for Sal.” Kids get practice with cutting and gluing as well as painting as they add watercolor blueberries to an aluminum foil pail background.

4. Painting with Feet

Young children will love the tactile sensation of painting with feet! This painting idea from Homegrown Friends is outrageously fun for little ones, and you can use the final results as wrapping paper for gifts.

5. Garden Rocks

Spreading kindness via painted rocks is a growing trend. So why not introduce your children to this initiative through this folk-art inspired garden rock craft from The Craft Train? They can leave their works of art for others to find or store them in their own felt drawstring bag for later play.

6. Galaxy Painted Rocks

Once your kids are comfortable painting rocks, you can take it to the next level (or should we say universe?) with these galaxy painted rocks from Color Made Happy. A round foam brush is the trick to creating a galaxy background, and it’s easier than it looks!

7. Thumbprint Flower Mason Jar

Grownups may want to paint and distress the mason jar in this project from Mason Jar Crafts themselves, but after that you can get the kids in on the fun by using their thumbs to paint a simple sunflower!

8. Watercolor Special Effects

This wax resist painting technique from Pam Ash Designs can be used to create designs with textured items such as leaves, coins, or other household items. The effect can range from subtle to dramatic depending on the method you and your kids use!

9. Button Tree

This craft from Busted Button involves hot gluing buttons onto a painted tree silhouette, so it may be better for older kids. You can still get younger children involved by having them help you paint the tree or choose which buttons to add to the branches!

10. Palm Springs Birdhouse

Help your little ones recreate the iconic colorful doors of Palm Springs with this mid-century modern style birdhouse from Club Crafted. Using white paint for the birdhouse really makes the pink color pop!

11. Painting Gourds

This painting craft from Hearth and Vine is simple enough for kids, and the cost is minimal. Once painted, the dried out gourds make an ideal fall decoration that speaks to the harvesting season.  

12. Painted Rock Paper Dolls

We love this modern take on paper dolls from Jennifer Perkins! You paint outfits on larger rocks and faces on round rocks, then mix and match them to play. You can even add fun accessories like shoes and handbags.

13. Bubble Wrap Roller Printing

This craft from Art Barb Blog involves a whole range of senses, from popping a few bubbles in advance (how could you not?) to the rolling motion of the wooden rolling pin. The end result is a cool print that is bright and cheery!

14. DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

As any caregiver knows, painting is a messy project. Even with a smock and secured area, painting with kids involves cleanup. That’s why painting with this this DIY sidewalk paint from Living Well Mom is so handy — the mess stays outside.  

15. Food Coloring Painted Plates

Who knew paper plates could look so glamorous and double as pretty place settings? The folks at Squirrelly Minds knew. We’re glad they shared this tip with us. The kids will get a kick out of painting on paper plates and eating off of them afterward!

16. Vinyl Name Painting

This craft from The DIY Lighthouse is both educational and engaging, as kids paint over vinyl lettering to reveal their name once the paint dries and the letters are removed.

17. Kid Painted Umbrella

Kids love to see their artwork showcased, so this painted umbrella from Pink Stripey Socks is a great way to brighten a rainy day for both the kid and grownup! All you need is a plain umbrella, paints in a variety of colors and a little creativity.

18. Stamping with Watercolors

You’ve probably stamped with ink before, but this stamping with watercolors idea from Elise Engh Studios gives you a different effect. After all, variety is the spice of life. It takes no time to set up, and the watercolor is easier to clean than ink.

19. Cats on Rocks

When your kids are ready to step up their rock painting game, this blog post from Where Your Treasure Is walks you step by step through the process of painting cats. It’s easier than you’d think!

20. Carousel Horse Costume

If you have trouble getting your little one to say goodbye to the beautifully painted carousel horses at the park, you’ll love this costume from A Joyful Riot. All you need is some cardboard and paint to make your child’s dream come true!

21. Homemade T-Shirt for Dad

This cute idea from Swoodson Says combines finger painting with the joy of gift giving. The great part about painting around stencils is that the kids can go wild without compromising the design.

22. DIY Upcycle Jar to Flower Vase

This tutorial from Ef Zin Creations uses wall stickers and dimensional adhesive paints to create a shabby chic flower vase from IKEA glass jars. You can add a lace trim for the finishing touch.

23. Creative Pumpkins for Kids

Kids love decorating pumpkins, but you don’t need to wait until fall to make these adorable unicorns, cats and monsters from Bebe and Bear. They are made with modeling clay, pipe cleaners, and gems — all the things creative kids love.

24. DIY Dipped Stitching Boards

Parents can design and drill these stitching boards from Pretty Life Girls, but kids can help paint the boards and of course, start stitching once they are dry! You have to love a painting project that is reusable once finished and helps with fine motor skills.

25. Paint Stick Dolls

Paint sticks are a little wider than craft sticks, making them easier for young hands to grasp. Using paint sticks and paint, fabric and yarn to make these dolls from Happy Hooligans is not only fun for littles, but gives them something to play with after.

26. Shark vs. Mermaid Tic Tac Toe

This kid-friendly travel game from J Sorelle Blog calls for painted shark rocks, seashells and permanent marker drawn onto drawstring bags. The sharks are easy to paint, and they add so much extra to this traditional game!

Now that you’re inspired with hours of painting ideas, you can start thinking of what to do with all of your finished projects! Children’s artwork can be used as wrapping paper to add a heartwarming special touch to a personalized gift. You can frame it or scan it to preserve it on a photo canvas. Or you can just hang it up to decorate your home! Whatever you choose to do with your children’s artwork, you can feel good about all the educational fun they had painting!