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Unusual Paint Brushes: Fun Process Art for Preschoolers & Toddlers

Feb 20, 2020    |   Art & Music
Art projects for preschoolers incorporating color and creativity

Toddlers and preschoolers enjoy opportunities to be creative and engage in an open-ended project, and painting is just that! Painting is a simple, process art activity that creates an opportunity for fine motor development in fingers and hands as children work with different materials and squish paints between their fingers! In this article, we explore simple art projects for preschoolers and young children that use unusual paint brushes to encourage engagement, learning, and creative expression.

What are Unusual Paint Brushes?

You can change up a child’s creative and tactile experience by offering stamps, sponges or other items for applying paint. Unusual paint brushes can be any material that children dip into paint to stamp, smudge, or smear. Using these different materials will make a special final product, full of unique textures and shapes.

Getting Creative with Unusual Paint Brushes

If you are looking for some inspiration, the list below includes a variety of materials that children can paint with.

  • Citrus fruits: Children can dip lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits that you have cut in half into containers of paint and use them as stamps! Find instructions for setting up this art activity on the ECE blog, Fun Littles.
  • Sponge shapes: Sponges can  also be used as stamps in art projects for preschoolers and young children! For added fun, cut the sponges into a variety of shapes, and talk with children about the different shapes that they are using throughout the activity. Find additional ideas on the website, Busy Toddlers.

  • Rolling ball: Rolling a rubber ball on construction paper with paint will leave an interesting and unique pattern. If you have different sizes and textures of balls available, you can use a few of them together and compare the variety of prints! Find more fun ideas on the blog, Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds.

  • Marshmallows: Marshmallows, held using a clothespin as a handle, can be used as stamps or brushes. Because marshmallows are tempting to snack on, you might consider pairing them with an edible paint. Visit ECE activity website, Hello Wonderful, for a recipe.

Developmental Benefits

Fine motor skills are movements that use small muscles in children’s hands, fingers and wrists. These include muscles that will later be used for holding pencils and writing! Incorporating a variety of materials, utensils and shapes into art projects for preschoolers encourages little ones to engage new muscles by using different grips, which in turn gets them ready for the writing they will do in kindergarten. If you are interested in learning more about supporting fine motor skill development, you might enjoy this article from the G2K archives: Supporting Fine Motor Skill Development

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