Painting – Toddler

Painting ToddlerWhile painting, your toddler is developing their concentration, eye-hand coordination and motor planning (i.e. planning what to do and how to do it).

Did you know?

  1. Your toddler is refining their hand grasping skills when painting with a paintbrush.
  2. Your toddler is learning to use each finger separately when they are finger painting.
  3. Both of these skills are important for holding and controlling a pencil for later writing development.

Add language

Talking about the paint colours helps to build your toddler’s word knowledge and colour concepts. Talking about the way the paintbrush is moving e.g. up, down, across, around, is helping your toddler learn the words and concept of direction.

Making comments e.g. “I like those colours”, pausing and waiting for your toddler to take a turn in the conversation helps build their language skills.

Other development

Painting is a great way for your toddler to start expressing their creativity.

Toddlers are best with large pieces of paper so they have space to make big arm movements.


Using paintbrushes and water outside on the concrete or bricks is a fun alternative to paint. Toddlers can watch as the water dries and their paintings disappear.

Try a few of these different tools for a new painting experience: vegetables, stamps, sponges, rollers, or different brush sizes and shapes.

For a messy play experience, try adding some paint to shaving foam on a table or flat surface (that can be easily cleaned!) and let the play begin!


Non-toxic, washable paint is the best for toddlers.

It may be worth checking the easel is stable before your child starts painting.

Activities listed under “toddler” are suitable for children aged 1-3 years. Toddlers enjoy activities that include exploring their environment and finding out how things work.