Paint and write boards for preschoolers

For a little more fun practicing our writing skills, I introduced “paint and write” boards to my class…

We are using Styrofoam boards that I have collected or purchased through our local United Arts and Education store.  Each child had their own board to work with..

We started by adding paint to the boards then each child used a sponge brush, but a regular paint brush works well too, to spread the paint all over their board. The children chose which color they wanted to use…

Then the children used a clean end of a cotton swab to write on the board…

Once the clean end of the cotton swab gets too much paint on it, it works best to then use the other end or get a new cotton swab…

When the children wanted to change their designs, they simply painted back over their designs with a paint brush and started all over again…

I suggest having a paper plate or tray out for the children to put their painting tools on – I did not have one and so we did get paint all over the table when they had to switch tools. But this process was well worth the clean-up!

For those who wanted to keep their designs, we supplied paper for them to lay on top of their designs to make a print…

We found that if the children rubbed their paper (or if there was too much paint on the tray), they would rub away the design underneath so it was best just to simply place the paper on the paint and tap it gently down. Then lift the paper up to see the design…

Here are some of our prints that we put on the wall…

By |2011-09-22T08:00:03+00:00September 22nd, 2011|

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. Little Wonders' Days September 22, 2011 at 8:21 am - Reply

    This is so fun and simple. My littles will love doing this activity.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      Thank you for stopping by today:)

  2. jackie September 22, 2011 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Awesome! I might have to pull out our styro trays today. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the great idea!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm - Reply

      You are welcome Jackie!

  3. TheBargainBabe September 22, 2011 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Looks like a lot of fun! I love United Art and Education, they have such a HUGE selection of stuff!
    Question about the trays–are they reusable, like rinse off the paint?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 22, 2011 at 2:30 pm - Reply

      Yes – we rinsed odd the trays to use again!

  4. [email protected] September 22, 2011 at 9:32 am - Reply

    I love this activity and it is fun that you do prints in the end so the work is somewhat saved!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      The prints really were a last minute idea but they turned out beautiful!

  5. vanessa munsch September 22, 2011 at 9:39 am - Reply

    I love the print idea, very cute!
    I suppose this could be done in a styro plate too if one doesnt have a board…could cute the paper for the print into a circle (older kids could even help) and hang them from a string, make a flower or use them to make different things (a sun, a caterpillar, a butterfly).
    I like it, thanks for the idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      For sure – there are many ways to extend or expand this idea! Great thinking here!!

  6. Kristina September 22, 2011 at 9:53 am - Reply

    I love this and especially love the printmaking aspect!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 22, 2011 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      Thank you Kristina:)

  7. La-La's Home Daycare September 22, 2011 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Awe…this is so cute and a great idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm - Reply

      What is TFS? 🙂

  8. abbie September 22, 2011 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Love this idea! Very clever. Sharing with my daughter’s preschool teachers!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm - Reply

      Tell those preschool teachers that I said hello too:)

  9. andiejaye September 23, 2011 at 2:26 am - Reply

    i’ve always loved the idea behind these! but i NEVER thought to make art out of their designs. i adore how you displayed them. isn’t it interesting all the different things they did with their trays?

    kind of off topic… what brand or where did you get those short plastic tables they’re working on? need one for the art playgroup i’m starting!


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      I actually got them at Walmart. They are folding tables that have legs you can pull out to make tall (for adults) or short for children. We love them and move them often to different areas of the room. They are very light weight too. The only thing I don’t care for is that they are a little on the narrow side – that is why we push two together for many of our projects. That works very well for us.

  10. SarahKaye October 13, 2011 at 7:37 am - Reply

    We are unexpectedly ahead today so I have a day to do something extra and unplanned. I think I’ll used this idea. We don’t have trays but do have styro plates. Since it’s October, I am going to have them use red and yellow paint so it swirls together for orange, then have them make prints on round paper. When dry I’ll give them green pipe cleaners pieces to twist into vines and a brown strip of paper for a stem and voila! Super cute pumpkins made by our super cute punkins!! 🙂 Thanks for the idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm - Reply

      Wow – these are great ideas Sarah! I might have to pull our our styrofoam plates too!

  11. yeeyeemama November 10, 2011 at 5:03 am - Reply

    Great idea!! and i love the way you display them ..beautiful!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 10, 2011 at 7:16 am - Reply

      Thank you – and thanks for stopping by!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. November 10, 2011 at 7:16 am - Reply

      Thank you Ninocka:)

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