Play for children is considered an essential part of their development but what exactly is play? ‘Einstein Never Used Flash Cards’ by Golinkoff, Hirsh-Pasek, and Eyer, play must:

  • Be fun and enjoyable
  • Have no set goals
  • Be spontaneous and voluntary
  • Involve an element of make-believe
  • Involve active engagement

So what does that mean? Well we should look for activities for our children that let’s them explore in their own way. You can set a very loose structure and still allow your children to be free to enjoy the act of painting and creativity. Here’s our three ideas for getting started with painting for imagination and creation.

Paint stones

Painting stones allows for an easy canvas

This is a fabulous start as you can combine this with a some outdoor exploration. Take the children for a walk through anywhere you’d like, make it an adventure. Along the way find rocks that you can bring home to paint in colourful ways.


These are fun easy way to get started with painting. Let your child create mixtures of paint in any colour at all, it doesn’t have to be just sunset colours. When your painting is dry cut out shapes such as a skyline and stick over the top. What colours can you combine to make for some interesting pictures. Let your child explore different colours, paint strokes and see hwo the mix together.


Abstract is one of our favourites, there’s no rules! To do this you will need a canvas and some masking tape. Have a look at the image below. Start by putting masking tape over your canvas then simply pain in any colour of paint you like, you could even try mixing paints together.

So there’s 3 different ways to use paint to encourage your child’s development. These methods will encourage your child to explore their creativity, discover how paint mixes together, use their imagination, fine motor skills, develop social skills as they talk about their painting, and have quality time with you. Have fun!

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