Activity Quick Finder:

Easy Easel Painting

Book: GIANT Encyclopedia of Preschool Activities for 4-Year-Olds





The Arts: Visual Arts


Fine Motor


4 Years Old


Individual Child

PDF Available


Large, inexpensive plastic tablecloth
Masking tape
Empty, clean yogurt cups with lids
Short-handled paintbrushes
Tempera paint
Liquid starch
Smocks or old, extra-large T-shirts
Cup hooks
Large, primary pencils
String cut into 2’ (60 cm) lengths, one for each easel
3” (7 cm) large paper clips, 2 for each easel
Easel paper


1. Put a plastic tablecloth on the floor underneath the easels. Tape newspaper to
the easels for easy cleanup.
2. In the lid of each yogurt cup, cut a hole large enough to fit a short-handled
paintbrush. (If the brushes have long handles, cut them to about 8” (20 cm)
long. This is much easier for children to handle.)
3. Pour tempera paint into each yogurt cup until it is half full. Add a tablespoon
of starch. (Starch makes the paint easier to wash out of clothing.)
4. Paint each brush handle the color of the paint in which you are going to
put it.
5. Put the lids on the cups and put one brush through the lid hole of each color.
6. Help the children put on smocks or old T-shirts.
7. Screw a cup hook into the side of the easel leg.
8. Tie a pencil on one end of a string. Tie the other end to the cup hook.
9. Attach two large paper clips to the top of the easel, one on each side.
10. Encourage the children to use the clips to attach paper to the easel and the
pencil to write their names.
11. The color-coded paintbrush tips make it easy to put the brush back into the
correct cup.

More Activities to Try