My toddler loves painting, but hates getting messy. We've done baggie painting in the past with my older son, but I haven't done it much with my daughter.
Recently we read Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh so I knew we'd need to do some painting and color mixing activities. The book is an adorable one about three little mice that jump into different jars of paint and make all sorts of colors. You definitely should read it along with this activity!
Since we are big fans of painting AND my daughter is currently obsessed with cars, we decided to do some Mess Free Car Painting.
Mess Free Car Painting isn't something I've invented. Preschools and moms have been doing it forever (and lots of other variations)... but I thought I'd share it with you since sometimes the most classic crafts can be new and fun if you haven't tried them before (and since toddlers love repetition, this might be the new (or old) activity that you do every day for the next six weeks).
Materials Needed: large ziploc baggie (I used 1 quart sized), trimmed down piece of cardstock, paint, and cars.
I love how our cars don't get dirty during this activity... but having a car wash with messy painted cars is also SO FUN... so do this one day and then do messy car painting with a car wash another day.
To do this activity you just simply need to trim down some paper, stick in inside a baggie, add some paint, zip it shut (while letting out a lot of the air), and then start driving your cars on it!
Once you're done just pull out your paper and you'll have a beautiful car painted masterpiece!
* Note that if you let the paint stay gloppy on the paper for too long that the paper gets too moist and starts falling apart. You can also just nix the paper and squirt paint into the baggie without any paper.
This activity provided a perfect opportunity for my toddler and I to talk about the primary colors and how to mix them to make other colors.
When we got bored of using the cars we also used our fingers, flat toothpicks, and popsicle sticks to draw on the outside of the baggie. They provided another fun mess- free sensory experience.
If your child love cars, here are a few other favorite Toddler Approved car activities and crafts:
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