activity chalk paint mirror print drawings

Paint and Chalk Mirror Prints

Reflect your child’s imagination with this easy, three-for-one activity. Drawing, painting and printing their own kaleidoscope makes your preschooler’s change perception and science learning shine.


This is dusty, painty, messy fun. So prepare your child, yourself and your area. Check out our FAQ here for cover-up tips.

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Big, sidewalk chalk found here on Amazon in different colors, your child’s choice
  2. Aluminum foil like this, to cover the ends of your chalk. It makes easier to hold and keeps fingers chalk-free, too.
  3. White, liquid tempera paint - from a tube or big jars like these. You’ll use a good amount, so have your container on hand for quick refills.
  4. Container for your paint, such as these small, plastic bowls with lids. A recycled yogurt container works great too
  5. Paintbrush - Our Materials page has guidance on the right brush size for your child’s age.
  6. Construction paper - at least two pieces in the same size. We use this assorted pack of 9 inch x 12 inch construction paper. Any colors your child chooses will do.
  7. Optional - Small weights, like these metal washers or small stones, to keep your prints flat while drying. 
  1. Skilly Spark: Talk with your child about what they would like to draw with chalk on their paper. Maybe a pattern of shapes, some fun scribbles, anything in their imagination! Then, explain that we’ll see what happens when your chalk drawing is all covered over with white paint. Remind them it’s important to make their drawing as dark as possible so that it will show through.
  2. First, it's time to draw or scribble on one piece of the construction paper, making their marks as heavy as possible. Be sure to cover a lot of the paper, or even better, the whole paper!  
  3. Second, your child can have a ball painting the second piece of paper completely full with white paint. Please note that some young three-year olds may not have the attention span to complete both parts of this activity at one time. It’s perfectly ok to complete only the first step, drawing on paper. You can wait until later or even the next day to do the second, painting part.
  4. Now, while the paint is still very wet, place the painted paper face down on the your chalk drawing. You can help them match up the papers’ corners so that they’re even. Most four-year-olds can do this on their own.
  5. Your little one can use their fingers or hand to rub firmly over the whole paper. Count to a least 10 while you do so. Some paint will squish out of the sides-- super fun!
  6. Help them carefully separate the two papers. What's happened here? You have two similar yet dramatically different prints, made by the chalk and paint blending together. Take a moment to observe and talk about their similarities and differences.
  7. While your mirror prints are drying, about 2 hours, make more! Keep on going, repeating the process and see what other different prints your little artist can make until interest wanes. Check out the prints when dry. Do you remember how they looked before?


Keep the fun going
  • Experiment with colors and contrast!  For example, try red paint on black paper, or brown paper and yellow paint. Use one piece of dark colored paper and one light piece. Or two light colored papers, then two dark colors ... These painting-prints have endless variations!
  • Impress your lunch time guests! Put your mirror prints to good use as original placemats. Can your guests find their print's reflection?
  • Go outside and go on a color-reflection hunt. How does the sky's color look reflected in a puddle, a lake, in shop or car windows? 


+Inspiration/thanks goes to the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles, California.