Paint Play

Car Painting

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This process based art play is a great way for your 2-6 year old to play with printmaking and color and experiment with painting using something other than a paintbrush.


  • 3-7 different washable tempera colors in a container or on a sponge in a bowl with a bit of water
  • Car toys
  • Big paper taped to wall or table.
  • If you have a sensory table, you can set it up like I did in the pictures, but this is not necessary.
Little hands ready to paint with cars!


  1. Set up the art play invitation.
  2. Model the possibilities of how to use the materials.
  3. Let your child explore.
  4. When your little artist is finished painting, switch the activity into a car washing station. Cleaning up is half the fun for our little artists!

Process Over Product

Art play for children is about the process, not the product. When your child is “done”, the paper could look different than you envisioned it would. Celebrate their process as it is.

I leave a project like this set up for an entire day. Mr. 3.5 leaves and comes back to it several times. He’s old enough now to respect the boundaries set for play like this. A year ago, this would not have been left out all day.

Don’t stop with cars! Many objects are great for paint play with children. Use what you have/what the little artist is interested in.

Have fun!

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