Water Paintings

A brush, water and a warm day is all you need to make the world your child’s canvas. Prepare to have a splashing good time with your preschooler’s science learning and hand eye coordination too.


Children will probably figure out that painting themselves or each other is quite interesting too, so prepare for lots of wet clothing. Going barefoot if possible is a good idea, too.

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Small plastic pail - Here’s an example of a bucket found on Amazon in a size that’s easy for your preschooler to carry 
  2. Paint brush - A regular, wall painting brush about 2 inches wide found here is our preference. But any size brush you have on hand will do. Have one brush per painter.
  3. Water
  1. Skilly Spark #1: Talk with your child about painting. Have they seen an people painting a wall, the outside of the house, or any other painting? We are going outside and paint, too. But instead of paint, we are going to use water.
  2. Put a small amount of water into the pail.  
  3. Give your child a brush.
  4. Head outside. You might begin by suggesting that the side of your house, a fence or a sidewalk looks like it needs painting.  Encourage your child to start painting there. You can join in and make it a collaborative effort.
  5. When your child feels that area is done, suggest another area.  
  6. Let your child come up with as many places that would be fun water painting areas, even their own bodies!  
  7. Skilly Spark #2: Go back and look at the area that was first painted. Does it need a “second coat?”  Take a moment to chat about what caused the “paint” to fade or even disappear.


Keep the fun going
  • Children 3 years and older can have fun practicing their numbers, letters, and designs.
  • What else can we paint? Tricycles, swing-sets and other outdoor toys also have great potential for water painting.