Painting and Writing Fun

  • bucket (plastic)
  • chunky crayons
  • drawing paper
  • painting tools
  • paints
  • paper or cardboard sheets
  • recycled cell phones, keyboards, tablets
  • tape
  • track-making items
  • water

Painting and Writing Fun

© Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care. All rights reserved.

Toddlers are beginning to use many different types of tools, including tools for writing and drawing. Give toddlers opportunities to explore a variety of tools as they build their fine motor skills and strengthen their arm and trunk muscles.

Keep fat crayons and scrap paper handy so toddlers can draw and write throughout the day!

  • Have toddlers use paintbrushes and sponge tools to make marks on the ground or the building.
    • Fill small buckets of water outside and let toddlers use the tools to paint watermarks.
    • Encourage toddlers to use different hand and arm movements to make different marks.
  • Encourage toddlers to make different marks using a variety of painting tools.
    • Tape a large piece of paper or cardboard to a table or to the ground outside.
    • Give toddlers washable paints and brushes, rollers, pine branches, cotton balls, pinecones, cooked spaghetti, etc.
    • Work together to make different strokes, shapes, and marks.
  • Let toddlers explore making paint “tracks.”
    • Spread a large sheet of drawing paper on the ground.
    • Place a puddle of washable paint on one end.
    • Let toddlers drive toy vehicles, roll cardboard tubes, or stamp sponges through the paint and onto the paper to make tracks.
  • Leave out toy keyboards, tablets, and cell phones (or recycled ones) for toddlers to explore.
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