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Process Art Challenge: Painting for Kids

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Today I am joining up with some friends for a new monthly series call the Process Art Challenge. Today we are sharing ideas for painting with kids! I tossed in some affiliate links for easy shopping if you want to try our fun hardware store paint combing idea!

Hardware Store Art - Paint Combing - Part of the Process Art Challenge. Check out all the Process Art ideas for Kids Using this Month's Material Paint!

This idea came about when a group of friends was talking about how we all play with our kids and do lots of activities but we don't often think to do process art. Process art simply means making art with no specific end product in mind. If you are trying to replicate a craft or have everyone make a lady bug, that is product art. This is, like the name, all about the process.

This month we are all trying different painting techniques with our kids and I can't wait to see all the fun ideas! I'll add them to the bottom of the post so you can click through to see them all too!

We chose paint combing, which can be done with lots of different tools. I was in the hardware store one day having some keys cut and had some time to browse. What a treasure trove that place is for materials for arts, crafts and activities! It was really a nice change of pace from the usual craft store.

Related: 35 CRAZY Fun Ways to Paint Without a Paint Brush

Hardware Store Painting for Kids


I picked up a couple notched spreaders (one with square notches and one with pointed notches) which are usually the kind of thing you use with adhesives or with grout when you are installing tiles. I paired them with our basic washable finger paint and some easel paper.

Process Art Challenge - Hardware Store Paint Combing - Come see all the process art ideas for kids using this month's featured material - paint!

Getting Started

Lay some easel paper onto your desk and tape it down if desired. Squirt out a few generous blobs of paint and either show your child how the spreaders can be used to comb the paint, or allow him or her to try it and explore.

If you have kids who are sensitive about paint getting on their hands, you probably want to have some wipes or wet sponges on hand to wipe hands and the spreaders. If your kids don't mind getting a little messy, then just have at it!

How It Went For Us

Using a Notched Spreader for Paint Combing - Check out all the paint ideas from the Process Art Challenge

I did this activity with my 2 1/2 year old son while my 5 year old was at summer camp. This is the kind of thing I did a lot of with my easy going daughter at this age but have not done much at all with my busy, busy son. Although I DO know from our Pete the Cat Painting Activity that he LOVES to make paint hand prints. That is how this activity ended as well but he did like using this new and unique tool.

He was a little unsure at the beginning, even after I showed him how to use the spreader. He seemed most pleased with the new-found freedom that came with me letting him squirt the finger paint onto the paper. Using the spreader was pretty much a means to an end- squirting more paint.

He also loves the color green so there was part of me that thought he was hesitating in the beginning because he wanted to look more at his new green paint blob. I love that he looks really deep in thought in that photo. Really contemplating the green.

But he did it and liked trying all the angles of the spreaders, even laying it flat in the paint. In the end he was proud of his artwork too!

Related: 15 Colorful Sensory Activities for Kids

Process Art Challenge- Paint - Hardware Store Combing - Check out all the Process Art Ideas this month!

Process Art Challenge

Process Art Challenge - Ideas for Painting with Kids

For more great ideas for painting with kids, check out the other posts in the Process Art Challenge series!

Bubble Snake Painting from Stir the Wonder

Painting with Funnels from Still Playing School

Process Art with Rollers from Craftulate

Painting with Nature from School Time Snippets

Bath Tub Sensory Painting from P is for Preschool

Process Art with DOTS from Powerful Mothering

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