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Mess Free Painting with Kids

Does even the thought of handing your kids paints and a brush cause you anxiety? Me too. Which is why I’ve compiled a list of three “mess free painting” activities that both you and your kids will enjoy.

Your kids will love these activities because they will still be able to experiment and play with colors, and you’ll love them because you don’t have to stress about cleaning paint off of hands, tables, and clothes.  

Mess Free Finger Painting 

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This first activity allows kids to mix colors and “finger paint” in a mess free way. 

Needed Items: 

  • Paint 
  • Card stock paper
  • Gallon size Ziploc bag
  • Heavy Duty tape. Either painter’s tape, masking tape, or duct tape.

The first step is to sake sure that your card stock paper will fit inside the ziplock plastic bag. I usually have to trim about two inches off the paper to allow it to fit. While you’re getting the paper ready, let your child pick out which colors they want to “paint” with.

Then pour the paints onto the paper allowing it to pool up about the size of a quarter.  Carefully slip the paper into the ziplock bag and tape it closed. (Heavy duty tape works best for this activity.)

mess free painting with kids

 It’s now time to “paint”. Depending on your child’s age, you may need to show them how to push the paint around and mix it with neighboring colors. 

mess free painting with kids

When your child is done painting, carefully cut open the bag and remove the paper to allow it to dry. After it’s dry, you can cut hearts out of the paper and give them as gifts to grandparents. 

Painting with Shaving Cream and Food Coloring

Needed Items: 

  • White Shaving Cream
  • Gallon size Ziploc bag
  • Heavy Duty tape. Either painter’s tape, masking tape, or duct tape

Put the shaving cream into the ziplock bag. Then (try to keep the colors separate from each other) put a few drops of food coloring into the bag. Try to get air out of the bag and then seal it up and tape it closed. You will want to use a heavy duty tape for this activity.

Then hand it over to your child and allow them to mix the food coloring into the shaving cream. The longer the play with this, the more the colors will mix. Which is a good opportunity to talk about how primary colors create other colors.  

mess free painting with kids

Bathtime Painting

What better place to let your kid’s paint than in the bathtub? 

How to Make Bath Time Paint: 

  • ½ cup of shampoo or shower gel. Your child will have this all over them, so make sure it’s a soap that their skin can tolerate well. 
  • ¼ cup of water
  • Food coloring



Mix the cornstarch and soap together first. Then mix in one tablespoon of water at a time until you’ve mixed in ¼ a cup of water (or 4 tablespoons.) 

Pour this into a muffin tin or ice cube tray, then add 2-3 drops of food coloring and mix together.

You may want to test the “paint” on your hands and your tub, just to make sure it doesn’t stain.

Then set your child into a dry tub with their “paint” and some paint brushes, or just let them finger paint. When they’re done painting, you can wash it off of the tub and then proceed to give your child their real bath for the day.

I hope these three ideas allow your kids to experience the joy of painting while also preserving your mental and emotional energy.

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