Need a fun art activity for toddlers? You’ve got it, friend!
Inside this post, I’ll share exactly how to turn your child’s trucks and cars into their new favorite art activity! Yes, really.
Ready for a fun way to paint? Let’s go!
Full disclosure: I try SO HARD to avoid messes with art activities.
While I know the major benefits of process art activities for toddlers and kids, I still find it hard to break out the paints. So, if the look of this activity stresses you out, stick with me. I’m going to share with you exactly how to manage the mess with this art activity.
Because with this fun art activity, I was on a mission…
I wanted to keep it fun for my toddler, but easy on me. Enter cardboard box painting! All we did was cut down one of our many Amazon boxes and let my toddler roll his trucks and cars into the paint. When we were done with this art activity, I folded up the box and threw it away (not without taking a picture of the finished artwork, of course ;).
Sounds simple enough, right?
But, Katie, you’re probably thinking: what about cleaning all the trucks and cars??
Well, my toddler did that ALL BY HIMSELF. With a little bit of planning, I’ll show you exactly how to set this art activity up so that your toddler WILLINGLY cleans up…. *promise*
RELATED: Too stressed and want mess-free fun? See how we keep the fun going with this mess-free bin.
I’ve got to share with you… This fun art activity took us all afternoon.
I found myself sitting in a chair, watching my son enjoy squeezing paint on to the cardboard, mixing the paint, and driving through the puddles of paint. That’s the POWER of messy, engaging play.
And, it was awesome.
I want that for you and your toddler too! So, here’s exactly what we did…
Here Are My 4 Tips for How to Manage the Mess with this Fun Art Activity:
1. Use Washable Paint.
I know. I feel like this is a no-brainer, but I feel like this is your friendly reminder: use washable paint (affiliate link to Amazon, so you know which paint we use!). That way, if it spills or goes off the carboard a little bit, you don’t have to worry. I’ve had this specific washable paint get all over my back patio and it has rinsed away during the rainy season, so don’t worry! It’ll be fine.
Bonus tip: If you really don’t want the paint to get everywhere, set this up on the grass!
Extra tip: You can add a drop of dish soap to the paint & mix it in to help it wash away even more easily!!
2. Set Up a Washing Bin.
This activity is so great because it has two parts: Paint & then wash! I put out two bins at the end of my son’s box. One filled with water and bubbles and, a rinsing bin, filled just with water. I threw in a sponge for extra fun.
3. Take a Picture of the End Result.
Nothing breaks a toddler’s heart more than throwing away their art (even if it’s just scribbling!).
The solution that works for us?? Take a picture! I snapped this quick photo before I folded up the box and threw it away. You could definitely keep this for more painting fun in the future, but we just don’t have the storage for that. But, my toddler was SO PROUD to show off his finished result!
4. End this Fun Activity with a Bath!
Right after this picture, I took my son and his beloved cars to the bathtub for a final rinse. By the end of the bath, the cars were all clean and so was my son!
My favorite activities are the ones that LAST and take all afternoon and this one is a winner.
Here’s all you need to do…
Supplies For this Fun Art Activity
- Tempera Washable Paint (I buy mine from Michael’s craft store, but if I were to grab some online, this affiliate link is to the washable paints I would choose on Amazon)
- Play Cars and Trucks
- A Cardboard Box
How to Set Up this Toddler Activity
- Break down a box so that it lies flat.
- Squeeze some paint onto the box (I spread some drops along the box)
- Let your toddler drive through the paint!
My son’s favorite part was squeezing more and more paint onto the cardboard, so make sure you put away the paint if you don’t want them to use it all up! I promise, they’ll try!
That said, I know this fun art activity will be just as magical for you and your toddler.
Here’s to not stressing over an art project with our kids because you know EXACTLY how to handle the cleanup and mess! WOOT!! ~Katie