Chalk paint and print-making with preschoolers and toddlers

For those of you following along, you know that I am on a quest to introduce the concept of painting to my little nephew Wy.

I could make Wy sit down with me, hold his hand, and make him paint a picture but that is a sure fire way to get him to NEVER want to paint again. Instead, I continue to introduce painting through new methods.

On this beautiful sunny day, I took Wy outside so he could ride his car around our driveway and while he was at it, I set some chalk, three cups of sidewalk paint, and two different kind of paint brushes right in the middle of the driveway.

Then I started painting with the brush.

And before long, Wy came over to see what I was doing and decided he wanted to explore the tools a bit too.

He tried each tool – dipping and painting.

He even dipped the chalk into the paint to draw but that didn’t seem to work so well.

Once we had our designs all down on the concrete we took some paper and flipped it over on the designs…


Then Wy stomped on the paper to get our print planted firmly on the paper…

And we had a fun design to take home to mommy!

Another step in the right direction in my personal quest to inspire Wy’s interest in painting!  Oh yes, and in case you noticed the change in t-shirt. We did this activity two days in a row so the photos come from both days:) After all, it is in the repetition that Wy moves from exploring the materials to creating with the materials. On day two – I already was seeing a difference.

Learn how to make your own sidewalk paint from…

Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers

By |2010-07-30T06:00:23+00:00July 30th, 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. Scott July 30, 2010 at 9:53 am - Reply

    I love the stomping to transfer the paint design. What a great step for toddlers to add to their painting experience – bigger kids, too, especially those physical learners.

    • Deborah J. Stewart July 31, 2010 at 12:15 pm - Reply

      I thought stomping on the paper would be a fun addition for Wy and give me something I could send home to mom as a bonus!

  2. Pam July 30, 2010 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    I love the way you focus on how important repetition is and how important it is to allow a child to explore materials at their own pace! For many of the children in my classroom, the first day we explore a new material they purposefully avoid it altogether or get upset because it is near their familiar materials! By the second day, they glance at the new material and start to become curious. By the third day, they want to explore what they can do with the new material…and then each day after that, we are able to explore different ways to use the material. For some children, this process takes months, for most just a few days…but either way, it tends to happen in the same sequence!

  3. Cathy @ NurtureStore July 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    A great example of an adult modelling, child trying. It’s good to paint outdoors too – big spaces, gross motor movements = encouraging for active kids.

    • Deborah J. Stewart July 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm - Reply

      Wy loves to be outdoors so I figure I might as well bring the activities to the outdoors!

  4. Theresa Milstein July 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    What fun he’s having here! It’s nice to let kids not worry about messes or making mistakes. Just exploring and bliss.

    • Deborah J. Stewart July 30, 2010 at 11:15 pm - Reply

      And I am having fun too. I think not worrying too much about my own agenda has been a healthy thing for me:)

  5. Teacher Tom July 30, 2010 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    I love following your quest, Deborah!

    And what a great reminder to give children a chance to explore materials at their own pace. I think I sometimes, give up on things if the kids don’t take an interest right away.

  6. ayn colsh July 30, 2010 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    I love watching little ones explore with new materials! Wyatt is so lucky to have an aunt who is patient and creative enough to allow him to explore and create at his own pace!

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