Mess Free Painting for Kids

By now you know that Seth shares my love for arts and crafts (much to my delight, obviously) but sometimes I really don’t feel like cleaning up the mess and having to give him a bath because he literally used himself as a canvas and changed his name to Jackson.

I’ve been thinking of ways to let him paint without making a mess… but the very definition of the word “painting” is messy. Look it up. You’ll find that it says something along the lines of “to spread a coloured substance over a surface”.

But then I remembered something fun we used to do in pre-primary. We’d place a sheet of paper inside a paper box lid, dot some paint on the paper and then roll a marble through the paint. The lid stopped the marble from falling out and all we ever had to clean was the marble. It was awesome!

Seth is only 16 months old so there’s no way I’m going to give him a marble and I doubt very much that he’ll keep said marble from falling on the ground, so I improvised a bit.

I took a big lunch box that has a clip-lock lid and commandeered a few balls out of his toy box. I stuck the paper down with some Blu Tack (Presstik) and smeared paint on the lid. I placed a ball inside and closed it all up and let him shake it like a Polaroid piiiictuure.

He LOVED it. The spiky ball lights up when you shake it so he was mesmerized by the light show inside the lunch box. I’m sure he was learning all sorts of new, important things while doing this, so yay!

The spiky ball made a lot of little dots, and the smooth ball made lines. I am going to experiment with different shaped objects next time.

Here’s what you’ll need to create a mess free painting

Clip-lock lunch box
Smallish ball (that can’t be swallowed)
Non-toxic paint
Blue Tack

And here’s how you do it

Cut or old the paper to the shape of the lunch box.
Stick it to the bottom of the lunch box with some blue tack.
Put some paint on the inside of the lid.

Place the ball inside the lunchbox and close the lid.

Get a super excited toddler to shake the lunchbox around.

Et violà!

To clean the tub, take everything except the ball out and fill it up with warm water and shake it. Rinse the last bits of paint off if there are any left. Easy peasy!

If you do make some art this way, please tag me @_fairleigh on Instagram! I would love to see your / your kid’s master pieces.

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