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Messy Art Adventures for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Art projects for kids are about the process, not the product! Process art gives children the freedom to focus on creating their next masterpiece without worrying about how it’ll turn out. Preschool art activities help little learners develop their creativity while having fun.
First Art for Toddlers and Twos gives parents and teachers endless preschool process art ideas for their toddlers and preschoolers. Try out these art projects at home or school today!

Making Marks
• Basket or flat tray
• Markers
• Masking tape
• Paper

Prepare (Adult)
• Tape butcher paper to a low table (cover the entire table and over the edges with butcher paper). Be sure to tape the corners.
• Place markers in a basket or flat tray, and put it next to the paper.

Process (Child)
• Scribble freely with markers.


Chalk and Water Drawings
• Berry basket, soup can, or basket
• Colored chalk (big sidewalk chalk or poster chalk is best)
• Old scrub brush, optional
• Sidewalk, driveway, or patio
• Small bucket of water or a puddle
• Sturdy wide paintbrush

Prepare (Adult)
• Partially fill a bucket with water, making sure it is light enough for a child to carry easily. Or if possible, find an outdoor puddle on a sidewalk.
• Plunk a big, fat brush into the bucket, or place one next to the puddle.
• Put chalk sticks into a berry basket, soup can, or basket, and head outdoors. (Carry the chalk for the children.)

Process (Child)
• Dip a stick of chalk into the bucket of water or puddle and scribble on the sidewalk.
• Pour a small puddle of water on the sidewalk, and scribble with a stick of chalk in the puddle.
• Put the brush directly into a natural puddle.
• Brush water over chalk lines using a fat paintbrush to blur the lines.
• Scrub off the chalk using an old scrub brush, and then start over again. (Some children love scrubbing. This is a good skill to practice for other potentially messy projects!)


Out & About Water Painting
• Old, fat paintbrushes
• Small bucket of water (a sandbox bucket or pail with a handle is perfect)

Prepare (Adult)
• Fill a small bucket with clear water, about ¾ full.

Process (Child)
• Plunk a fat paintbrush into the bucket.
• Paint with water on anything and everything! Toddlers and twos love to paint windows. The following are other favorite choices for this age group.
               o Painting lines, dots, and wiggles on a cement patio or sidewalk.
               o Painting a wood fence or wall, rocks, trikes, swing sets, and outdoor toys.

More Activities to Try