I’d like to preface this post by telling you that while I LOVE to do crafts and activities with my kiddos… my capacity for mess is fairly small. Not even because I can’t handle the messes, but because I have *four children* and our messes escalate very quickly from being manageable to looking like a tornado went through.
So, my goal is to find activities that have MINIMAL effort for me (ex: no mess) but MAXIMUM reward for my kiddos (ex: joy). So glitter? Get out of here. No freaking way. Paint? That should be another no freaking way, but I have one paint activity for toddlers that is mess-free and all of my kids love to do.
Today, I’m going to show you how to do this painting activity as a cute Valentine’s Day craft! But, you can also 100% adapt this craft to suit any holiday or activity.
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Valentine’s Day Splatter Paint Activity
Writing this post is giving me all the feels because I first did this art project when my oldest was 3… and now he is about to turn TEN and I have another 3-year-old. So much has changed in 7 years, but I still am wary of painting activities with kids.
Especially toddler painting activities… *shudder* But THIS art activity is actually mess-free, with very little effort to set up and it’s a lot of fun.
Toddler Paint Activity Supplies
Here are the supplies you’ll need to do this activity! And guess what? You don’t even need a paint brush! You probably have many of these supplies around your house.
- A clean, empty jar or can, with a secure lid (I used a coffee can. The lid probably wasn’t as secure as it should have been, but it worked fine.)
- Washable Paint (reds, pinks, and whites are best!)
- A few marbles, pebbles, or even pennies.
Toddler Paint Activity: Tutorial
You’re going to start by cutting your cardstock so that it fits inside your can or jar.
I went ahead and cut mine into small hearts to start, but you can always cut them into hearts after the paint has dried.
Drop your marbles or pebbles into the jar and add a few drops of paint! I had my toddler count the pebbles as he put them into the jar.
Place the lid on and CAREFULLY hand it to your toddler. Have them hold the can so that their fingers are holding the lid down and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! They will love shaking the can and hearing the noise from the marbles.
Once they’ve given it a good shake, carefully remove the cardstock. Since you’re using washable paint, you might be comfortable with your little one removing it themselves, but this is a task that I always do.
My kids LOVE seeing the final product! Once they have dried, you can have them sign their name (or the first letter of their name) on the back to work on some fine motor skills.
You can also decorate them with Valentine’s Day stickers, or have your child use a hole punch to create some holes in the paper as another sensory activity, or use a glue stick to make a collage!
P.S. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram! I post lots of our family fun on my stories 🙂