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Six Easy, No Mess Art Ideas

A. LOVES to paint. I hate to clean up paint. This is a pretty unfortunate dynamic, since one of us always get the short end of the stick. We still manage to do lots of art, but I’ve been looking for ideas to keep things as mess-free as possible.

I found these guys during a recent trips to the dollar store:

Bingo dabbers, in lots of colors. It’s a marker, it’s paint, it’s perfect!

These things are not just for old ladies looking to win big! They are amazing; the don’t really drip or bleed through paper, come in several colors and wash out pretty easily.

This is a total win-win. A. can do what she loves almost any time, since clean up is a breeze. For us, that can mean an easier time getting dinner finished or laundry folded while she gets her art on. More importantly, we can spend more time enabling her to do the things she enjoys without banishing art projects to weekends only. Even though we picked up several of these, which have quickly landed at the top of our list of  go-to activities, our easy art supply organization system helps us keep control over the growing collection of art supplies.

Five more no-mess ideas to try, courtesy of Pinterest:

spill proof paint cups

1. No-Spill Paint Cups by Melissa & Doug: If you still want to try traditional paint with less mess, try picking up some of these guys. Because I love everything they make, I just ordered some for A.’s birthday (which is less than two months away…eeek)!


Paint bags

via Let's Explore

2. Plastic Bag Painting: Pour some paint into a plastic freezer bag, seal well, spread the paint around and let your kiddo doodle on the bag with their fingers. Could be a fun way to learn about combining colors by using two primary colors.



paper towel painting pages

via Fun & Engaging Activities for Toddlers

3. Paper Towel Painting Pages: Make your own no-mess watercolor paintings by tracing designs onto paper towels with washable markers. Let the kiddos ‘paint’ over your lines with water for an instant water color effect.



painting with water

via Teach Preschool

4. Painting with Water: This one is super simple and great for summer. All you need is a bucket of water and a paint brushes. Let your kids create incredible disappearing works of art by painting with water on the driveway or sidewalk.



bubble bath paint

via Meet the Dubiens

5. Bubble Bath Paint: It doesn’t get easier to clean up kids art than when they create it right in the bath. Try bath crayons or bubble bath ‘paint’ (thickened with corn starch and dyed with food coloring) and lets the kids get creative in the tub. Just rinse and you’re done!


Do you have any tips to make sure art time stays good, clean fun!

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