20 Acrylic Painting Ideas for Kids

Acrylic paints offer a vibrant and versatile medium for budding artists of all ages. Unlike watercolors, acrylics dry quickly and can be layered for richer effects.

They’re perfect for creative exploration, making them a fantastic choice for kids’ art projects.

If you’re looking for ways to ignite your child’s imagination and get them excited about art, this list of 20 acrylic painting ideas is sure to inspire!

We’ve included a variety of projects suitable for different age groups and skill levels, from simple techniques for preschoolers to more complex ideas for older kids.

Splatter Extravaganza (Preschoolers & Up):

This is a messy but exhilarating way to introduce young children to acrylics. Tape down a sheet of paper or canvas and let your little one loose with a paint-dipped brush! Experiment with flicking paint with their fingers or using a straw to blow splatters across the canvas.

Tip: Cover the surrounding area with newspaper for easy cleanup.

Sensory Stamping (Preschoolers & Up):

Get creative with everyday objects! Dip corks, sponges, or even vegetables like cut potatoes into paint and use them as stamps. This is a fantastic way for young children to develop hand-eye coordination and explore different textures.

Fingerprint Fun (Preschoolers & Up):

Turn little fingerprints into colorful creatures or whimsical flowers! Dab different colors onto a child’s finger and let them press it onto the canvas. Add details with paintbrushes to complete the artwork.

Bubble Blowing Bonanza (Preschoolers & Up):

Who knew bubbles could be so artistic? Mix a little dish soap into a shallow dish of water and dip a straw into it. Blow bubbles onto a sheet of paper laid flat. Once the bubbles pop, they leave behind colorful circles!

The Great Tape Resist (Ages 5 & Up):

This technique creates beautiful geometric patterns. Use masking tape to create shapes on your canvas. Paint over the entire surface and carefully peel off the tape to reveal a clean, unpainted design.

Under the Sea (Ages 5 & Up):

Bring the ocean to life with vibrant blues, greens, and yellows. Paint a base coat for your ocean scene and then add colorful fish, seaweed, and bubbles with a brush.

Splendid Skies (Ages 5 & Up):

This project is a great introduction to color mixing. Use a sponge or brush to paint a gradation of blues and purples for the sky, transitioning to lighter yellows and oranges for the sunrise or sunset.

Dazzling Dot Art (Ages 5 & Up):

Create a masterpiece with tiny dots! Use cotton swabs or the tip of a paintbrush to create a pointillist-inspired artwork. This technique works well for landscapes, portraits, or even abstract designs.

Fantastic Feathered Friends (Ages 5 & Up):

Let your child’s imagination soar with a colorful bird painting. Paint a background of leaves and branches, and then add a brightly colored bird or flock of birds. Encourage them to experiment with different shapes and sizes.

Blooming Beauties (Ages 5 & Up):

Flowers are a classic subject for acrylic paintings. Paint a simple flower base with a brush and then use your fingers to dab and blend colors for a beautiful, textured effect.

Stripes & Splatter Party (Ages 5 & Up):

Let creativity run wild! Alternate between painting bold stripes and splattering contrasting colors across the canvas. This is a great way for kids to explore different brush techniques.

Dancing in the Rain (Ages 7 & Up):

Capture the movement of raindrops with this project. Use a toothbrush dipped in white paint to flick splatters across a blue base coat. Add details like puddles and umbrellas with a brush.

Galactic Adventures (Ages 7 & Up):

Explore the wonders of space! Paint a dark background for your canvas and then create swirling galaxies, sparkling stars, and colorful planets using acrylics and a variety of brushstrokes.

Silly Self-Portraits (Ages 7 & Up):

This project is a fun way for kids to explore self-expression. Paint a self-portrait with a twist! Let them exaggerate features, add pops of bright colors, or create a cartoon version of themselves.

Hidden Creatures (Ages 7 & Up):

Get sneaky and have some fun! Paint a landscape scene with a hidden animal or object within it. Use camouflage techniques or subtle details to make

Doodling Delight (Ages 7 & Up):

Turn a simple doodle into a masterpiece! Let your child create a spontaneous drawing on their canvas with a pencil. Then, go over the lines with black acrylic paint and fill in the spaces with vibrant colors.

Marvelous Marbling (Ages 7 & Up):

This technique creates beautiful, swirly patterns. Pour a shallow layer of liquid acrylics (white works well) into a tray. Drip different colors on top and gently swirl them with a toothpick or straw. Carefully lay your canvas or paper on the paint and lift it straight up to create a marbled design.

Stencil Stories (Ages 7 & Up):

Find or create stencils with your child’s favorite animals, shapes, or letters. Secure the stencil to your canvas and use a sponge or brush to paint inside the cutout. You can layer multiple stencils or create a repeating pattern for a dynamic effect.

Mixed Media Madness (Ages 9 & Up):

Encourage exploration with mixed media! Combine acrylic paints with other materials like collage elements, fabric scraps, or buttons to create a textured and unique artwork.

Comic Book Capers (Ages 9 & Up):

Turn your child’s artistic energy into a comic book spread! Use acrylics to create panels on a canvas or large sheet of paper. Let them draw and paint a mini-comic with their own characters and storyline.

Bonus Tip: Turn leftover cardboard boxes into mini-canvases! This is a budget-friendly option that allows kids to create multiple artworks.

Remember: There are no mistakes in art! Encourage your child to experiment, have fun, and express themselves freely. Let the painting process be a joyful experience and celebrate their creativity every step of the way.

Additional Ideas:

  • Themed Painting Parties: Host a painting party with a specific theme like outer space, jungle animals, or a favorite book character.
  • Glow-in-the-Dark Fun: Add a touch of magic by mixing glow-in-the-dark acrylic paints into your project.
  • Nature Scavenger Hunt: Take inspiration from a nature walk! Let your child use their collected leaves, flowers, or rocks as inspiration for their painting.

With these ideas and a little encouragement, your child will be creating their own artistic masterpieces in no time!

Sohaib Hasan Shah

Sohaib's journey includes 10+ years of teaching and counseling experience at BCSS School in elementary and middle schools, coupled with a BBA (Hons) with a minor in Educational Psychology from Curtin University (Australia) . In his free time, he cherishes quality moments with his family, reveling in the joys and challenges of parenthood. His three daughters have not only enriched his personal life but also deepened his understanding of the importance of effective education and communication, spurring him to make a meaningful impact in the world of education.

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