Kick box painting with toddlers

My nephew Wy loves to kick balls, push cars, and color with markers but there is one thing that he really doesn’t seem to like….

Wy doesn’t like to paint.

When Wy gets a little paint on his hands, he stops in his tracks and just stares like it is a disease. But unfortunately for Wy, I love to paint and so I have been trying to find inventive ways to get Wy exposed to painting little by little. I am hoping to get him over his paint phobia.

The plan evolved after a trip to McDonald’s where we got this really cool ball in our Happy Meal. The numbers and shapes on the ball stick out and I thought we could go home and try painting with the ball but knowing Wy won’t want paint on his hands – we invented kick box painting instead…

We started by putting three drops of paint on a piece of plain white paper.

Then we put the paint and the paper in a box with a lid.

Wy picked up the box and shook it…

and then he decided to push the box around the room…

And then he decided to kick the box. I have never seen a kid get so much exercise from a painting activity!

And when Wy was all finished, we opened the box to see the results.

Our Kick Ball Masterpiece!

Turn a box into more toddler fun!

By |2010-07-23T22:21:38+00:00July 23rd, 2010|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. V.Kerr July 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    Super cool idea!

  2. Sarah July 23, 2010 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    This works as an infant art activity as well. A box to play with.

  3. Patti July 23, 2010 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Fantastic idea!

  4. Briana July 23, 2010 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Score! Good for you finding a way to “meet him where he was at”. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart July 23, 2010 at 11:53 pm - Reply

      Yes – I am learning how to do that everyday:) Really stretching my creative energy here!

  5. Scott July 24, 2010 at 12:29 am - Reply

    You just had to find the right KIND of painting for him! This is great. I’ll bet my kindergartners would like it, too.

    • Deborah J. Stewart July 24, 2010 at 12:44 am - Reply

      I agree – I think you could do this with any age – even take it outside for a little kick-box game:) Endless possibilities!

  6. Jenny July 24, 2010 at 4:26 am - Reply

    Love it!

  7. [email protected] August 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    We have lots of empty boxes “kicking around” after Rebecca’s birthday yesterday, now we know something really fun to do with them tomorrow, thanks! 🙂

  8. Amber November 22, 2010 at 8:55 am - Reply

    I absolutely LOVE this idea. It is perfect!!! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart November 22, 2010 at 10:49 pm - Reply

      Thank you Amber:) I appreciate you leaving a comment – that is my nephew doing all that kicking!!

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