Mess-Free Water Painting

As a parent, you know that arts and crafts have a tendency to get messy. Do you find yourself wanting to say "no" whenever your child asks you when they can paint because you can already envision how much you're going to have to clean up? Well, there is a way you can say "yes" and avoid the mess altogether! Get ready for your soon to be favorite way to paint: Water Painting!

  • A small dish with a little bit of water
  • A small paintbrush
  • Large, flat stone
  • Hand towel
  1. Place the stone on a flat surface in front of your little one. 
  2. Place a small dish with only a splash of water next to their work surface along with a small paintbrush. Remember: you can always add more water, but starting with too much could result in unnecessary spills. 
  3. Provide a hand towel or small cloth for drips and spills and encourage your child to wipe up after themselves. 
  4. Demonstrate how to dip the brush into the dish, tap off excess water and then paint lines, dots, or squiggles onto the stone. This is great for having your little one concentrate and build cognitive connections between visual learning and imitation. 
  5. Put the brush in your child's hand and show them how to grip it. This will build fine motor skills and finger strength. Guide their hand into the small dish of water and then onto the stone to start drawing. Then, let their creativity go wild! 
  6. Tip: have another stone or two at the ready. When their stone is completely painted you’ll be ready to swap it out and the fun will continue! 
Skill areas addressed:
  • Fine motor skills
  • Creativity
Extensions & Adjustments: 
Other great surfaces for water painting: 
  • Construction paper
  • The sidewalk or driveway
  • Wooden fence

    Author: Mikaela Martinez