We admit that sometimes we avoid the really fun painting and craft projects that include supplies other than the box of nice, neat, perfectly sharpened colored pencils we know will minimize cleanup time. (The glitter glue, that’s a whole other story.) But then we think, aw, the kids always have the best time painting.  Maybe it’s time to get out the brushes?

That’s when we toss some newspaper or a drop cloth over the table, stick an apron or giant t-shirt over the kids, and let them get messy.

And you know? We’re always glad we did.

The truth is, cleanup is never as awful as we imagine. Plus we end up some masterpieces to show for the time together. And best of all, wonderful memories that may last even longer.

That’s why we’ve put together 11 really fun, creative paint projects for kids that go beyond just brushes and a tin of watercolors. Because we know we’re not the only ones who sometimes need a little nudge to get out the paints. Especially when the weather is keeping is indoors.

And if you need even more incentive, how about messiness that’s stain-free? We’re so happy to welcome our newest sponsor, the fantastic new Clorox myStain app, which lets parents relax a little — or in some cases, a lot — knowing we’ve got a little mobile angel in our pockets, tipping us off on just how to get rid of any stain that may appear. Whether your art project uses tea bags, milk, marker or melted crayons, they’ve got you covered.


The free Clorox myStain app: tips for getting out dozens of stains from fabrics and hard surfaces. Parent lifesaver!


So go ahead, enjoy the mess! We know the kids sure will.



Creative painting projects for kids: Paint Splat Art at Crafty Morning. Fun!

We can’t decide what’s more fun about Crafty Morning’s paint splat art project for kids — whamming each cotton round with the rubber mallet, or the surprise of paint color that comes when you smack it. Check her site for a painting project so much fun you’ll want to join in.


The most amazing Fireworks salt painting tutorial: It sparkles! | DIY at Busy Mommy Media

This firework salt painting project spotted at Busy Mommy Media is incredible — it actually sparkles when it’s finished because of the salt! The supplies are stuff you have at home anyway, and she’s even got tips for swapping in food coloring instead of paints if you’d rather go that route.


Bubble Wrap Stomp Painting at Mess for Less: Fun ways to put your kids' paints to good use

How much fun is this bubble wrap stomp painting project at Mess for Less? Talk about making the kids happy when they’re stuck indoors. When they’re finished painting — with their feet, no less — you can even let them add stickers or color with crayons or markers.



Creative painting projects for kids: Crumpled Paper Art is pretty enough to use as stationery | DIY at Buggy and Buddy

The technique for making this crumpled paper paint project inspired by the children’s book Ish is so clever, and we think the result looks pretty enough to turn into stationery when the kids are finished. Or something else that we never would have thought of at all. Kids are awesome that way. Visit Buggy and Buddy for a whole lot of inspiration.



Creative paint projects for kids: Bubble painting! Instructions via Childhood 101

We are so taken with this bubble blower paint project at Childhood 101, which uses bubble solution and food coloring together for a very cool effect. We love all the great photos showing you all kinds of amazing results your children can get.


About out sponsor

Download the totally free Clorox myStain app now, and you’ll be impressed with how quickly and easily you can search through dozens of stains that parents are too familiar with — baby food, coffee, juice, tea, glue lipstick, mustard, sunscreen, you name it. You’ll find tips on getting the stain out stat, before it has a chance to set. Which is why it’s so perfect to have this handy right on your phone, just a touch away. Especially during craft time.


The free Clorox myStain app: tips for getting out dozens of stains from fabrics and hard surfaces.

You’ll find instructions for various fabrics, which you’d probably expect from Clorox, but also tips for removing stains from hard surfaces which is really helpful if, um, your toddler decides the wall is a good canvas as he experiments with magic marker impressionism.

And if you happen to search for something they haven’t included in their very extensive list of stains, the search results offer a link to the fun Dr. Laundry, who will actually answer your stain removal question via email.

Disaster averted!



Creative painting project ideas for kids: Shaving Cream Painting DIY at In Lieu of Preschool.

If you have never tried your hands at shaving cream paint art,  there’s a great tutorial at In Lieu of Preschool. All you really need is shaving cream and paint; or for an edible version you could use whipped frosting and food coloring. It’s a great one for toddlers, but even tweens love the marbleized result.


Painting with tea bags: what a cool idea to engage all of kids' senses. | Tutorial at Fantastic Fun and Learning

It never occurred to us to use flavored tea bags as an art supply, but that’s the brilliant idea behind this tea bag painting project at Fantastic Fun and Learning. Kids will get a full-sensory experience with this one.


Creative paint projects for kids: Pendulum Painting blends science, art and fun | Handmade Kids' Art

We love it when science and art collide, and this pendulum painting project for kids at Handmade Kids’ Art is an awesome way to explore both with your kids. It’s like one of the hands-on projects they may have tried at a science museum, only no admission fee. Win!



Use color and salt to melt ice sculptures with this cool DIY for kids at Artful Parent

If you’re still staring at snow out your window, check out this very cool project at Artful Parent that lets kids use colored salt to melt ice. It’s a fun way to play with all that fun white stuff without getting bundled up to go outside in a storm, and it doubles as a science lesson on how salt and ice interact. But the tons of water colors that kids will get to use definitely makes it extra fun.


Make a magic, swirly mess of color with Magic Milk Paint, a fun science and art experiment | Modern Parents Messy Kids

Magic milk paint is a science experiment disguised as a craft project, and it’s one of our kids’ very favorite rainy-day activities. It doesn’t even require real paint, just food coloring. Check out the instructions at Modern Parents Messy Kids, but we’d like to add that we’ve found that milk — or even buttermilk — works best, so that the second the dish soap hits the food coloring it swirls like crazy.



Creative painting projects for kids: Skip the paintbrushes with this Foil Printed Trees DIY project from Munchkins and Moms

You don’t have to wait for any particular season o make tree crafts — — our kids love it all year long. We can’t wait to try this fun foil ball painting project trick at Munchkins and Moms, then let the kids pick from pastels for spring, or earthy tones for fall. Or if you’re looking for a winter version, just use colored paper and let the kids go to town with white paint.

Clorox logo

Thanks so much to our sponsor the Clorox myStain app — download it free for iOS or Android right now! You’ll get great tips on how to get out stains from tea, to glue, to food coloring, markers, foods of all kinds and more. 

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