Mess Free Painting with Kids

Mess free painting activity for children and kids of all ages.
I absolutely love painting with Possum but, lets face it, the thought of cleaning it all up can be a little off putting at times. So here is a great activity that is mess free painting with kids, which is easy for you to set up and your children will absolutely love!
Materials You’ll Need – 
  • Large clear plastic sealable bag
  • Paints (whatever you’ve got)
  • Sticky or masking tape
Simple mess free painting activity that children will love
How to paint without the mess!
Simply add a few squirts of paint into a large sealable plastic bag. Ensure it’s sealed well and stick the bag to the window with basic sticky tape or masking tape. Your little one will be able to use their fingers to move the paint around but without getting messy.
Cue that sigh of relief! 😉
Simple mess free painting activity that children will love
Quite quickly you’ll find that the blobs of paint inside the bag begin to spread and merge. It’s wonderful to watch the children as they do this and make a conscious effort to spread the paint within the bag.
As you can see, children can be as creative as they like. Here is an example of how they can explore numbers using this clever painting technique. This approach can really help reluctant learners to take on mathematical challenges but in a fun and positive way.
Some ideas you might like to try with your school aged child –
  • Can you write a number with your eyes closed? Sensory learning experience
  • What is your phone number? How many times do you need to life your finger to write that phone number? Number formations
  • Can you write the numbers backwards from 10? Counting down
  • {write a number} Write the number that comes before/after that given number?
  • {write a number problem} Can you solve this addition/subtraction/division/multiplication problem in your head? developing mathematical concepts
Simple mess free painting activity that children will love
Of course children can also use this painting method to learn more literacy skills. The paint really allows the child to see where they have been and they can also reflect on their own progress.
Some ideas you might like to try with your child at home –
  • Can you write your name? Surname? Letter formations
  • What letter of the alphabet comes before/after the letter ___? Alphabet knowledge
  • How many times do you need to lift your finger to write that letter?
  • {Write a word with missing letters} Can you fill in the blanks? Spelling
Simple mess free painting activity that children will love
As you can see this creative approach opens up many, many doors for children to learn, engage and have fun all at the same time. Whilst your child plays you can help develop important language skills and ask them to describe what they see or feel. Otherwise you can simply tell them what you are doing eg. “Look at the lovely swirly line I’m drawing”.
Simple mess free painting activity that children will love
I also like the simplicity of this activity and encourage you to add only two colours. By doing this you are allowing your child to really focus on how colours merge and change when mixed together. It’s a great idea to have them predict what colour they may see before it actually happens.

Simple mess free painting activity that children will love

Now I’m adding this picture (above) simply because I love it. Since having these mess-free painting bags available for Possum to play with this has been a very common sight. I adore it and encourage you to provide this opportunity to your little ones.

Would your child love this type of mess free activity?

 Some other ideas you’ll love – 

Invitation to play with pasta and playdough     DIY simple paper planes for kids on a windy day   DIY Zipper sensory board for kids

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    • says

      They absolutely are lovely Laura. In time she will begin to understand your expectations but until then enjoy the wonderful fun of finger painting. :)
      Thanks for your comment.

  1. says

    I’m so excited to come across this post! Little E has been sick and so it will be indoors play today and I’ve been trying to think of something fun (and not messy) to do and this is it! Mummy is excited!

    Thanks for linking up for Mummy Mondays!

    Eva x
    The Multitasking Mummy

  2. says

    I’m super excited by this idea! My little one has been sick and so it’s indoors play today although I didn’t know what to do…but now I do!

    Thanks for linking up to Mummy Mondays!

    Eva x
    The Multitasking Mummy

  3. says

    We haven’t done this in ages too. They are so fun aren’t they? And up on the window adds a whole other sensory experience; watching the light interact with the colours. So beautiful. The last ones we did were with food colouring, hair gel and glitter. Nice and sparkly and lots of fun :)

  4. says

    We’ve done this on the glass table before but doing it on a window with the sun shining through & vertical is so clever. It looks wonderful & would use different muscles/abilities to ‘paint’ on a vertical surface.
    Another on our to do list

    • says

      Thank you for reminding me of this important fact about a child’s use of muscles during this activity. You’re absolutely right and thanks for highlighting this for me. I very much appreciate your comment. :)

  5. says

    I love this. I set up a similar activity for Cam after seeing it on Octavia and Vicky. The plastic bag was attached to the table top. But, I think she’d love it even more set up on the window- especially with the sun shining in.

    • says

      It’s beautiful with the paint shining through the window. I didn’t know about Kylie’s post. I’ll be sure to go and have a look at it now. Thanks for commenting Jackie.

    • says

      Thanks for joining in on the fun here at Laughing Kids Learn. I love toddler activities so I’m sure you’ll find lots here.
      Much appreciate your comments.

  6. says

    I’ve seen this done on tables etc but not on the window. What a brilliant idea. Even R who is much older than Possum would really love this. I might try it tomorrow. I love that it can be left there all day and the kids can come back to it time and again.

    • says

      Thank you so kindly for featuring this activity. It is lots of fun and something that most families can see themselves being able to do easily enough. Huge fan of your site and all that you share. I hope to send through some more ideas in the future. :)


  7. Anonymous says

    Great idea — took my 26 month old some warming up, but we also talked about what happens when we mix colors! Very fun.

  8. Erika says

    I see what you are headed for with this idea- but think of the age-appropriateness of the activity in terms of painting also. Remember that half of the sensory experience of painting is feeling the brush, learning how the dribbles work, etc. Let me propose that painting is actually as much about the mess, movement and physicality of art as anything else. That said, I don’t think children under 3 are ready for that. Block-style crayons give a great experience for the under 3s. Over 3s I suggest starting with water colours on wet paper – it is less mess than poster-paint style and much much cheaper and easier. do it outside, or in the kitchen- but if mess is your problem, the child might be too young.

    • Kate says

      Thank you for your comment Erika, it was interesting to read your view.
      I completely agree that children need to feel the texture and sensation of sensory related activities and so I would recommend you checking out some of the other posts on my blog. You’ll see that I encourage this and have absolutely no problem at all with mess, however, I can respect that some people do, hence this idea.
      I think I’d also have to disagree on some of your other points. I don’t feel that I should be restricting my child by holding her back from opportunities to engage in such activities just because she isn’t 3 years old. If she can be safe and under active supervision then why wait? Research tells us time and time again that children’s engagement in activities and experiences before the age of 4 will set the path for their future learning and develop greater connections within the brain. I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. I appreciate you commenting though.

    • Kate says

      Great Kartika! Thanks for letting me know. My little girl absolutely LOVES this activity and did from such a young age. Enjoy and thanks for sharing a comment with me. :)

  9. Joanne says

    Wow! Thank you so much! I am a preschool teacher and have never thought of doing this activity, I will surely do it today. Thank you so much!

    • Kate says

      You are more than welcome Joanne. It’s fabulous fun and can be made to suit whatever theme or colour your focusing on. Thank you kindly for the comment. Best wishes. :)


  1. […] I currently babysit for a living, and let’s face it, kids are like sloppy drunks. They say the weirdest things, they cry for no reason, start fights (hopefully not involving a bar stool- if so you may want to cut your losses), and most of all they make messes. I spend about 3/4 of my life on Pinterest anyways, so I added on a babysitting board and happened to stumble upon such a genius idea I just couldn’t pass it up. Check it out here. […]

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