Snap painting is very messy in preschool

I have been wanting to try snap painting for some time now so this week I decided just to give it a go. I gave each child a metal cookie sheet that I got from the Dollar Store and set out the rubber bands we use for our DIY Geoboards.

The children have been doing a lot of designs over the past few months with our Geoboards so I invited the children to make a design with the rubberbands kind of like they do on the Geoboards…

As they added their rubberbands to their pans, they like to stop and play them like guitar strings. This was definitely a multi-sensory activity.

After the children added a few rubberbands to their pans, then we slid some paper underneath the rubberbands…

At this point, I have to say that the children added paint to their paper and rubber bands through different approaches. But the main goal was to get the rubberbands covered with some paint. I showed the children how they can add paint to their paper then pick the paper up and rub it on the rubber bands…

In the end, each child used their own method of adding paint to the rubber bands…

Once the children added paint to their paper, they held the paper up (in many cases they asked me to help them with this part) and then rubbed the rubber bands into the  paint.  Then we removed the paper with the paint on it and underneath was a clean piece of paper for the children to snap paint on…

Then the snapping began! Oh my! We had paint splattering everywhere and the kids were loving it!

They pulled back on their paint-covered rubber bands and let go to ‘snap’ the paper…

These photos do not give justice to how much paint splattering took place with this activity. I recommend you cover your tables with paper and perhaps the walls and chairs too!  Our paint was washable so we just washed everything down after we were done…

While we painted I heard words like, “This is cool!” “Can I have another piece of paper?” “Look there is paint on the wall!” “Can we use all the colors?” “You got red paint in your hair!”…

This was a great painting process – perhaps next time we will take it outdoors:)

By |2011-10-28T11:15:19+00:00October 28th, 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. andiejaye October 28, 2011 at 11:34 am - Reply

    oh my! the messier, the better, right?

  2. [email protected] October 28, 2011 at 11:37 am - Reply

    what a great idea. I am planing on doing this someday. I love the freedom you gave the kids to do it their way.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 28, 2011 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      This is a very free process. It really can’t be structured! You just run withit:$

  3. Teacher Tom October 28, 2011 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    The biggest complaint we get from the kids at our school is paint getting in their eyes. This is why we’ve started wearing our safety glasses. They wind up looking like raccoons! =)

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 28, 2011 at 1:11 pm - Reply

      I didn’t think of wearing goggles Tom but when we try this again I do think we will add goggles. I was not prepared for how far and wide the paint would splatter! The kids loved it but I was a tad overwhelmed! There was no containing this mess:). But oh well- I will still do it again;)

  4. Jill October 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    i have been wanting to do this as well but it makes me a little nervous now that I have read this! 🙂 maybe we will wait till spring and make it an outdoor activity! 🙂

  5. Natalie October 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    I think I would do it outdoors too, but oh my gosh, what fun!

  6. Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree October 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Beautiful snap painting! They look like they had lots of fun! Your students are so lucky to have you! Goggles are necessary….My daughter had polka dots all over her face when we did this!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Yep – we had the polkadots too!

  7. Jan C October 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    we did something similar with rubber bands dipped in paint and then stretched across cardboard box lids that I had cut slits into the sides of (kind of like how you might cut slits into a paper plate for weaving). Unfortunately I don’t have pictures, I was too busy chasing the escaped rubber bands around! But the kids loved it.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      LOL – I can picture you chasing the rubber bands. Too funny!

  8. Little Wonders' Days October 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    My kids would LOVE this. Thanks for the big heads up about the mess. In general, art mess doesn’t bother me until it starts to spread beyond the workspace…and this sounds like it does!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      Oh yes – it spreads whether you want it to or not!

  9. Amber October 29, 2011 at 9:02 am - Reply

    Courageous you were! Yes, looks like a great outdoor activity-bathing suits and then water play afterwards!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      My kids would have love to jump straight into a pool! They needed it!

  10. Heidi Butkus October 29, 2011 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Boy, oh, boy- WHAT a MESS!!! You are definitely braver than I am!!! I gotta hand it to you! I think I’ll leave that one to the preschool teachers. 🙂

    By the way, we tried your Pumpkin Exploration Cups yesterday, and it was great fun!!!! I’ll try to post a picture of it on my Facebook page. Thanks!!!!
    Heidi from HeidiSongs

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm - Reply

      I would love to see them Heidi! Yes – this was super messy!

  11. jwg October 29, 2011 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    This also works if you wrap the rubberbands around old picture frames. Messy but fun.

  12. Cat October 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    aww this looks so fun, and yes I think I will save it for outdoors, lol. Thanks (again) for such a great blog!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Cat!

  13. […] that was still somewhat messy. We tried out rubber band snap painting. I found this idea at Teach Preschool. You will definitely need a cover for your work area and a smock to do this process […]

Leave A Comment

This site uses 'cookies' to give you the best, most relevant experience. Using the website means you're OK with this. Ok