Color Mix


Color Mix

© Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care (Jennifer Waddell photographer). All rights reserved.

Playing with paints is a great way to let your toddler express herself, experiment with colors, and have fun.

Painting is messy, but that can also be part of the fun.

  • Be sure to cover a work surface with newspaper before you start painting.
  • Tape the newspaper over a table, on the floor, or on the refrigerator.

Use watercolors or washable paints.

  • Give your toddler something to cover her clothes. You don't want her to worry about getting paint on her clothes. 
  • Cover your own clothes so you don't have to worry, either!

It is good to have lots of different kinds of brushes and paints for your toddler to try, but don’t overwhelm her with them all at once.

  • Start by putting out one or two sizes of brushes and three or four different colors. Save others for next time.
  • Tape down a large sheet of paper on top of the newspaper for her to paint on. You can also offer different surfaces for her to paint on, such as cardboard, coffee filters, fabric, or boxes.
  • Have other objects available for her to paint with, such as sponges, cotton swabs, old toothbrushes, and hands and feet!
  • You can take the activity outside and with thicker paints she can also paint rocks, pinecones, or wood.

Many of your toddler’s paintings will probably turn out brown as she experiments with mixing colors. She’ll be excited to discover that different combinations make new colors, so let her continue to mix her own.

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