Updated on October 14, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Whether you’ve suddenly found yourself homeschooling your children or you’re just looking for a way to pass a rainy day, painting is a sure way to entertain you and your little Picasso. Painting is a great way to not only have fun, but also to help young children explore their creativity, learn their colors, and practice fine motor skills. There are endless choices when it comes to paint for kids, but one of the things that is important to us is that they’re nontoxic.
The Best Toddlers Paints
(Best value and most earth friendly paint — $)
Why it’s great: We absolutely love this set because of the extra creativity it provides. Made with 100% natural ingredients, this set comes with six pigments that you can mix yourself. You get the basic colors with this set – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and brown – along with a paintbrush. Adding more water to these colors even gives you the ability to use them as watercolors which provides more flexibility for your little artist. You can refrigerate any paint that you didn’t use for up to two weeks which is perfect if you didn’t get all your painting done in one day. Not only are the paints natural and biodegradable, but the paints are made in the USA and their package is made from recyclable materials and biodegradable as well.
Keep in mind: You’ll need to have some old containers, like glass jars, for mixing the paints.
Good for: Older children who want to experiment with different colors and textures of paint.
(Tons of colors for tons of fun — $$)
Why it’s great: With 12 different nontoxic colors, these are great finger-paints for little artists. The colors are bright and the caps open easily. With a nice wide mouth, you don’t evn have to pour these paints into another container to use. These would be great paints to use for hand prints or, because they’re nontoxic, even dog prints!
Keep in mind: Even though they’re nontoxic, make sure that your child or pet never ingests paint.
Good for: Finger painting with young children.
(Organic Face Paint at its best — $$)
Why it’s great: We love that these are made with organic ingredients and mineral pigments, truly unique within the world of kids paints! These are made in Oregon and do not disappoint when you’re looking for face paints. They’re free of parabens so they’ll be sure to provide hypoallergenic fun all day. Reviewers say that they’re able to wash these off with just water even though they last the entire day without getting cakey or dry. That’s a win in our books! With six colors and three applicators included, this is a great set.
Keep in mind: Adult supervision is recommended for younger children.
Good for: Face painting for the whole family.
(Best watercolor palette for beginners — $)
Why it’s great: If you have a budding Bob Ross, they will love this 12 color palette! It is lightweight and easy to hold, even for little hands, and has a built in paint brush. We love that the palette is durable enough to use long after the paints run out. The colors in the palette are super vibrant, offering more choices than a lot of other watercolor sets at this price point.
Keep in mind: These are not labeled as washable, so prep your area before use.
Good for: Recommended for 3 and up.
(Great beginner tempera set — $$$)
Why it’s great: These large size matte finish paints are great for classroom or home. They are non toxic and don’t have any allergens, but have the same consistency of a tempera paint that you’re used to. These creamy paints come in six bright colors and are perfect for painting on a variety of surfaces, from paper to cardboard tubes to papier-mâché . The possibilities are endless! We love that these come with an easy peel seal, so you don’t have to worry about any spills during shipping.
Keep in mind: Make sure to wear a smock to prevent any residual staining.
Good for: Kids just learning how to paint.
(Big containers of bright colored fun — $)
Why it’s great: Everyone knows the name Crayola, and they don’t disappoint with these finger paints. They come in a large squeezable container which is great so you can pour out tiny amounts for small quick crafts. We love the fact that the bottles are EZ squeeze to prevent spills. Cleanup is a breeze as the paints are washable. The liquid is thick which lends itself to finger painting more than brush painting, but also ensures that you won’t have any unwanted splatters when you’re working on your craft. Each of the bottles is a generous 8 oz., and a little goes a long way, so you won’t run out of these any time soon.
Keep in mind: You’ll need some containers to pour these into.
Good for: Better for finger painting.
(Best all-inclusive starter set — $$)
Why it’s great: We absolutely love this set from YallFairy because it includes all the fun accessories you could ever want! It comes with a washable smock so you won’t have to go searching for an old t-shirt for your little one to wear, and will keep paint off clothing, allowing for some good clean fun. The sponges that come in this set are super fun shapes which will allow the littlest artists to be creative even if they haven’t mastered the ability to draw shapes yet. This set has a whopping 31 pieces and is great for kids as young as three.
Keep in mind: This set doesn’t come with paint, so you’ll have to purchase that separately. The set will work well with all paint types.
Good for: Kids as young as three.
FAQs about toddlers paints
1. What paints are best for my child?
Base your purchase on the age of your child and their current fine motor skills. For young toddlers just starting out, finger paints are ideal because they can be creative without having to worry about dropping a paint brush. Once your child has better hand control, you can try out tempera paints that can be easily used with a brush is ideal.
2. What supplies will I need to paint with my child?
There aren’t many supplies that you will need to start your painting projects, and what you will need is easy to gather together. A good smock like the one in our first recommendation is a fabulous idea, but if you don’t have one an old t-shirt of yours or your child’s will work well. A few different paintbrush sizes are a good idea as well as paint stamps or sponges which can make art time super fun. You’ll also need paper to paint on, some jars or cups to rinse paintbrushes, and it’s always a good idea to cover any surfaces you are painting on with either old newspapers, cardboard, or a plastic tablecloth.
3. What are the benefits of painting with my child?
Painting can be a wonderful creative outlet for children and adults. For the youngest artists, painting is a great way to learn the names of colors. For older artists, exploring colors with paint is a great way to do an impromptu science lesson about color mixing.
4. What other skills will my child learn from painting?
Painting is a fabulous way to help develop fine motor skills like brush control, as well as hand-eye coordination. Learning to hold a paintbrush and get the paint just where they want it is a great way for children to learn skills that will translate into writing later on down the road.
5. How can I turn painting time into learning time?
Painting with your child is a wonderful opportunity to talk to them and foster their love of learning. Even the littlest artists can learn how to make shapes and trace lines. For older painters, you can draw the alphabet or numbers on paper with a pencil that they can trace over with paint. Another fun activity is to look at famous paintings and try creating your own version of it.
Painting with your child can be a wonderful experience with the right tools and paints. Picking the right paint for the age of your child will make the experience much more enjoyable. Children younger than 3 often have trouble holding a paintbrush well so you might want to opt for finger paints or make sure you get very thick-handled brushes that they can easily grasp. Once your child is a little bit older, tempera paints offer a great texture for painting with a brush while still being easy to clean up, as they’re typically considered washable paint.
Painting can also be a wonderful way to preserve memories. There are plenty of creative ways you can capture handprints and footprints with paint. And if your refrigerator is quickly filling up with works of art, you can also think about turning your little one’s creations into one of a kind gifts for family and friends.
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