Fun Painting and Drawing Activity for Preschoolers

This unique painting activity uses a cardboard canvas and a variety of fine motor tools. Extend the painting activity by prompting kids to draw pictures on their masterpieces for creative and fine motor fun!

preschool painting with paint tools

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Do your preschoolers love getting up to their elbows in finger painting?  They certainly don't seem to mind the mess as much as the grownups do.

But if we prep the area - and the artist! - painting can be one of the most amazing play times for kids as well as grownups. Painting gives kids freedom to create while they enjoy a fun sensory experience.

This painting and drawing activity is a fun way to let kids create. It combines a paint brush and a drawing tool, focusing on the process and not the product. There isn't a final result or product to achieve.

Mixing colors and making shapes or squiggly lines provides freedom to explore and create.

Painting and drawing activity

Washable paints are perfect for painting activities. They have awesome colors; they inspire creativity; they easily wash off hands and brushes in sudsy water.

  • Washing up is just another fun sensory experience!

Supplies for painting activity
 Supplies for painting activity

Cardboard canvas

Paint brushes

Washable craft paint


Mixing paint colors on cardboard canvas

Instructions for a painting activity

1. Prep the activity.

Cover the work area with a drop cloth. We used a sheet of clear plastic left over from a renovation project. The plastic may have to be taped to the table surface to keep it from sliding around. 

Cover clothing with a paint apron or paint shirt.

Place a large piece of poster board or cardboard on the drop cloth.


2. Paint the cardboard canvas.

Squeeze a few blobs of various paint colors onto the paper.

Mix the colors with a brush or fingers! If you make this a finger painting activity, you can get some great tips for finger painting from No Time for Flash Cards.

Drawing in paint with paint tools


3. Draw on the painted canvas.

When the paint colors are mixed, you have a canvas on which to draw pictures!

Use the opposite end of a paint brush to draw shapes and designs in the paint while it is still wet. 

  • Since it was close to Valentine's Day when we did the activity, we made heart shapes for a Valentine theme!


Draw letters on paint canvas


Drawing tools for painting activity

Try some other drawing tools:  feather  -  cotton swab  -  craft stick.

Painting with brushes and drawing tools


When you want to erase part or all of your picture, swipe over the drawing with your paint brush, or spread the paint around with your hands!

Add a dab of paint now and then, if needed, to keep the surface from drying out.

  • Drawing can only be done while the paint is wet.

Once you have the masterpiece you want, allow the paint to dry and enjoy the result.

Get up to your elbows in painting with this creative activity!

Draw designs on a painted canvas


More ways to paint!

Paint with ice cubes.

Paint with wood blocks.

Paint with pumpkin pieces.


Painting activities from other kid-friendly bloggers!

Painting with Feet from Home Grown Friends

Painting activities from Learning 4 Kids.

Salt Painting from Mess for Less


 Visit our Painting Activities Pinterest board for more fun ideas.



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