February 6, 2019

Easy At Home Preschooler Paint Station

With winter finally here and Mother Nature deciding to drop the mother load (pun intended) of snow and cold weather on us the past week, we’ve gone into deep hibernation.

Staying indoors with a 5 month old and almost three year old all day is not easy. Finding things to keep the both of them busy and engaged takes quite a bit of planning.

That’s why we like to have some activities ready to go, “in our back pocket”, for days just like the ones we’ve been having lately. 

Easy At Home Preschooler Paint Station Plus Painting Smock DIY

Last week, I shared our DIY “water table” for baby - one of our go to sensory play activities for the little one.

Today, I’m sharing one of our go to activities for our budding artist - this easy, at home preschooler paint station.

All materials required for this activity can be found at your local dollar store (in our case, Dollarama), which means its not only easy BUT also affordable.

Here’s a list of items you’ll need to make your own station (all for $15!). And then, scroll down to learn our simple DIY painting smock.

At Home Preschooler Paint Station

Place mat, newspaper or packing paper
Ice cube tray
Acrylic paper (number and colours of choice)
Small canvases or card stock
Paint brushes
Painter’s smock (see easy DIY below)

Easy At Home Preschooler Paint Station Plus Painting Smock DIY

One of the great things about this activity (besides keeping my daughter occupied, focused and using her imagination to create her latest masterpiece) is that it is very affordable. For just $15, you can create your own painting station with enough materials for a weeks’ worth of painting. 

Like I said, it’s always good to be prepared.

Here is the cost breakdown for our activity kit:
Place Mat: $0 (already had at home)
Acrylic Paint: $1.50 each colour x 5 colours = $7.50
Painter’s Smock: $0 (DIY - see below)
Paint Brushes: $3 for pack of 25
Ice Cube Tray: $0 (already had at home)
5x7 Canvas: $1.50 for pack of 3 x 3 packs = $4.50

Total Cost: $15 for 9 paintings

Easy At Home Preschooler Paint Station Plus Painting Smock DIY

And if you're not into spending $15, you can make it even cheaper!

The above cost is only if you want to paint on the mini 5x7 canvases. If you have paper, card stock, construction paper, newspaper, cardboard, etc. at home, the painting station is even more affordable - all you’re buying is paint and paint brushes! (Read on for the reason why we use canvases.)

We keep all of the materials in a bin (in our laundry room, away from where she can get to it by herself) for easy access when needed.

Since this is one of my daughter’s favourite activities, she’s created quite a few painted canvas masterpieces. Luckily, they make great gifts! While we’ve added a few to gallery wall (a nice pop of colour), the others have all been given as gifts to family members. Make sure to add a description of the photo (you know, in case it is very “abstract”) as well as the date. 

Easy At Home Preschooler Paint Station Plus Painting Smock DIY

Ok, before we end this post, I know what you’re thinking… painting is messy. And yes, yes it is.

When Morley was in daycare, I remember I could always tell when they did a painting activity. I would be so upset because it would be all over her clothes, ruining them because the stain sat for so long. I always thought, why couldn’t they just cover her up to prevent her from ruining her clothes? 

While painting is messy, it’s important to remember that when it comes to little ones, messy play is good play and should not be avoided. 

There are ways however to limit the spread of the mess, and one of those ways is for your little painter to wear something that covers their clothing, like this DIY painting smock. 

DIY Kid’s Painting Smock

What You Need:
old t-shirt
chip clip or hair clip

What You Do:
Put the t-shirt on your child backwards. 
Grab the back of the sleeves and gather in the middle of their back.
Fasten tightly (but comfortably) with the clip to avoid the t-shirt from falling down. 
*See photo below for example.

Easy At Home Preschooler Paint Station Plus Painting Smock DIY

And voila, with a few items from home and a few purchased items from your local dollar store, you have an easy and affordable preschooler painting station. The perfect addition to your "back pocket" activities for days when you're stuck inside. 

Stay tuned for more back pocket indoor activity ideas for babies and preschoolers, coming soon to Instagram and the blog!

I would love to know - what are your favourite indoor activities for your little ones? 


Easy At Home Preschooler Paint Station Plus Painting Smock DIY

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