Let’s get messy with paint!


Paint with your fingers, toes or whole body!

Materials Required

  1. Paper (any size)
  2. Washable poster paints
  3. Paper plate or something to put the paint on (these are good for finger painting)
  4. Wipes (almost essential for this activity!) or bucket with water
  5. Painting mat and painting clothes


Prepare a space where you want your child to paint – Clothing for your child is optional!

Method (or Ideas)

  1. Give your child the paper and the paints and let them go!
  2. If they have never used their fingers to paint before try to show them what they can do – dots, stripes, zig zags, patters and drawing. Have them mix the colours together. The main thing you want them to do is create and explore the art materials.
  3. Make sure you join in too!
  4. You can add some texture to the paint e.g. sand.
  5. Take a print of the painting by pressing paper over the top of the painting.

Facilitation Tips – What To Say

  • Dots, colours (whatever colour you have) zig zag, lines, shapes
  • Fingers, toes (depends on where they put the paint you can encourage body part labeling!)
  • Ask them “how does the paint feel?”

Extend the Experience

You can attempt to try this again at another time but use mud instead of paint.

WHO Guidelines for Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour

This can be a very active play experience, especially if outside and on large sheets of paper.

Early Years Learning Framework


  1. Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity
  2. Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating.


Principle 5: Ongoing learning and reflective practice. Critical reflection involves closely examining all aspects of events and experiences from different perspectives.


Practice: Learning through play. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn. In these ways play can promote positive dispositions towards learning. Children’s immersion in their play illustrates how play enables them to simply enjoy being.

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