Need a clean way to paint with toddlers? Try some bath tub art!
I get it: toddlers and paint can be a hard combination. It’s kind of like herding cats – paint covered cats and I know you get it. So what if you could find a “clean” way to paint? That’s what we’ve got here – try a little bath tub art to make everything cleaner.
INSPIRATION SHOUT OUT- (that’s a thing, right? It is now): This activity is 100% inspired by the Bath Tub Art Studio that my friend Jen from Mama.Papa.Bubba did with her son… except she gave him a squirt bottle of paint too because she’s a genius.
You can paint with toddlers!
Painting with toddlers can feel daunting but here’s my best advice: Set YOURSELF up for success.
Giving a toddler paint in my family room full of IKEA white couches is probably not going to be a great idea for me.
Letting my toddler paint in a contained bath tub where any mess is immediately fixed with water…now that’s setting everyone up for success.
Related: Looking for more easy indoor toddler activities? Try this list!
It can be hard to paint with toddler, and we end up saying NO a lot.
This is such a great “YES!” activity where you aren’t sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what could / will go wrong.
They’re in a wipeable space.
Water is seconds away.
Clean is within reach.
Here’s my set up for this painting activity!
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- Ice cube trays (I use these in LOTS of activities from roll and count math to sensory play and life skills practice)
- Washable paint (this is my NEW favorite kind that was recommended to me from @friendsartlab)
- White butcher paper
- Painter’s Tape
I hung the butcher paper all over my bath tub walls. We have old 1990s grout that’s white and not very sealed anymore. Even still, any of the paint that got on the grout wiped away just fine.
But please, please choose the right paint for your grout situation and use good judgement when setting up this activity to avoid any damage.
I filled the ice cube tray with paint, set my toddler (28 months old) in the tub, and away he went.
So many ‘YESes’ in this activity!
Yes, you can paint the walls!
Yes, you can paint the floor!
Yes, you can paint your body!
Don’t worry about him thinking he can always do this. Kids are masters at transferring information and putting it in context. It’s the same way they know not to pour water at the dinner table, but know that’s just fine in the bath tub. They’re so smart like that.
RELATED: Check out my list of indoor activities for kids.
How’d the clean up go?
I pulled the art off the walls, turned on the water, and together we cleaned the ice cube tray.
Then he stayed in the tub for a bath and that is the BEST kind of “2 in 1” activity – it was perfection.
The kid, the supplies, and all the extra was cleaned up in seconds. Literally seconds.
That’s basically magic for a toddler art activity!
What an easy way to paint!
Setting up this bath tub art was the perfect activity for my toddler and the best way to let him paint.