Colourful splatter paint ideas to try at home

Painting is one of those activities that kids just never seem to get tired of (at least, that’s what we’ve found in our home!). 

It has so many educational and developmental benefits for children too, such as fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, understanding colour theory, developing powers of observation, problem-solving and more.

Oh, and of course it’s fun too!

But sometimes getting out the same watercolour palette and paintbrushes over and over can get a little stale. That’s when it’s a great idea to shake things up a little by changing the scenery, using new tools and trying new techniques.

One of our favourite ways to liven up art time at SUPA STEM HQ is by getting messy and creative with splatter paint art.

We’ve put together a list of super fun yet oh-so-simple paint splatter activity ideas. Check them out for some instant inspiration.

Who knows, your little ones might even create a million-dollar masterpiece in the style of the most famous splatter paint artist of all time, Jackson Pollock!

Ideas for splatter painting for kids

How to splatter paint with kids

Before we get into our favourite splatter painting ideas, let’s quickly run through everything you need to know about trying this fun painting technique with your kids.

Here are the 3 most important things to consider when you’re planning a paint splatter activity session:

1. Paint splat activities are MESSY.

But so worth it, we promise!

That’s why our number one tip is to do them outside, if the weather allows and you have the space to do so.

It’s also worth reminding kids not to flick their paintbrush or other tools backwards towards themselves as they will quickly get covered in paint.

The same goes for flicking or aiming their tools in any direction other than the surface they are meant to be painting on!

If you think your kids might need a bit of practice, let them try splattering water first.

2. The fewer rules, the better. 

Aside from having a few safety and mess-related rules in place, try to keep things as free and flexible as possible.

One of the great things about paint splatter art is that it encourages kids to think outside the box and get creative in unusual ways!

Consider placing the paper or canvas on the ground so kids can stand over it and move around it easily, just like Jackson Pollock did.

 Give kids a choice of tools to use alongside the usual paintbrushes and sponges. It makes for an incredible sensory experience for any age.

3. Think liquid.

The key to successfully creating paint splatter pictures is simple – keep the paint watery.

Think watery liquid paints rather than thick or solid media. That watery consistency is what will make it possible for kids to flick and splat the paint wherever they choose.

If your children are struggling a little to transfer the paint onto their chosen surface, mixing a little water into it usually does the trick. 

 There are a range of different kinds of paints you can use, from poster paint to watercolours. Whatever you choose, we recommend making sure it’s washable and easy to remove.

Throwing paint on canvas to make splattered paint art

14 Fun ideas for colourful paint splatter pictures

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s get into our favourite ideas.

Make a note of the ones that you think your kids would enjoy most, and be sure to bookmark this page so you can come back to it.

1. Paint splat trees

Splatter painting for kids trees

These stunning splatter paint trees by Projects with Kids can be tailored to suit your child’s age. 

Younger children might appreciate a tree template being created for them, whereas more confident or older kids will likely enjoy doing that part too.

For this activity, white card and acrylic paints are recommended.

Winter paint splatter designs

For a seasonal twist in the colder months, give this Our Kid Things activity a go. Simply opt for white paint and spread it over the whole page to create a wintry scene.

 We’re a fan of these autumn/fall paint splat trees too.

 2. Tape resist splatter paint art

Paint splat tape resist idea

Create cool designs by blocking out parts of your painting surface with masking tape or painter’s tape, like Buggy and Buddy.

Just make sure to test the surface first to ensure the tape will remove easily.

Again, you can choose to add the tape yourself or let kids create their own paint splatter designs.

This outdoor tape resist idea is pretty cool too.

 3. Giant colour splatter art

Giant paint splatter art background

If you’ve got a bit of space and aren’t afraid to let things get a bit messy, setting up a giant paint splatter background for kids to decorate is sure to be a hit.

Using a old bedsheet is a good low-budget option, but pieces of paper taped or simply laid closely together (if painting outside) can work too.

You can either lay your painting surface flat on the ground or hang it up so kids can stand in front and splatter paint to their heart’s content.

Suspending an old sheet from a washing line in the garden is a simple, low-cost solution for this one.

We recommend doing this one in an outside space where you don’t mind a bit of mess!

You can find more inspiration for this one here

4. Bristle brush paint splats

Splat painting activity for kids

We think this easy idea by Arty Crafty Kids would be perfect for preschoolers and younger children who are not as confident with tricky tools like fine paintbrushes. 

All you need is a washing up bristle brush and a selection of paints.

You could also extend this activity by providing a range of different brushes for kids to choose from, such as old toothbrushes, cosmetics brushes and so on.

5. Balloon splatter paint technique

Colorful ballon paint splatter technique

We absolutely love how cute and fun this balloon splattered paint activity by Hello Wonderful is.

Simply add paint to partially inflated balloons, secure them to your painting surface and let your kids pop them. With every pop colourful paint splats will appear!

Just a heads up – for the original activity, thumb tacks and screwdrivers were used. Adapt as necessary depending on the age and maturity of your children, and always supervise closely.

Kids will also need to wear goggles to prevent any paint going in their eyes.

6. Rubber band splatter painting for kids 

Colorful splatter painting with rubber bands

How fun is this elastic band paint splat activity by Thimble and Twig?

All you need is a suitable container and a selection of rubber bands to upgrade your splatter paint process art session.

If you don’t have a deep metal or plastic dish to use, you can even use a simple cardboard box as in this activity.

7. Hammer paint splat process art

Hammer paint splat process art for kids

 Younger kids absolutely adore paint splat activities, so they make an awesome twist on splatter painting for preschoolers.

However, that’s not to say older kids don’t go crazy for them too – making those paint splats is just so satisfying!

That’s why we had to share this sponge and spoon idea by Taming Little Monsters

Just cut up some kitchen sponges, saturate them with paint and let your kids splat them with a wooden spoon or similar tool!

Alternatively you can use a mallet and cotton rounds or cotton balls.

 8. Cool splatter paint art with eggs

Paint splatter design ideas with eggs

This clever idea featured on Made for Mums is an awesome way for kids to burn some energy on a warm, dry day.

Fill eggshells with paint and encourage your kids to throw them one by one onto your chosen painting surface.

Colourful paint splatter patterns will appear and turn that surface into a vibrant masterpiece!

A large sheet, paper roll or canvas would work well for this.

This activity can be less messy than it looks if you keep a hose to hand to quickly rinse down the spilled paint once the activity is over.

9. Paint splatter pattern action art

Cool paint splatter effect with pantyhose

We absolutely had to include this creative twist on splatter painting by Toddler Approved.

It does take a little more preparation than some of our other favourite ideas, but it’s well worth it!

Fill one end of a pantyhose leg with uncooked rice and secure with a knot. Place a large painting surface on the ground and tape it down if necessary.

Let your kids dip their bouncy pantyhose paint splatters in paint and splat onto the paper or sheet to create colourful patterns!

10. Water blaster paint splats 

splatter painting for kids

Using a water blaster or water shooter toy to create splattered paint art is on our list of must-try activities for when the weather gets a bit warmer.

Simple Everyday Mom made these beautiful canvases with her kids just by letting them get creative with water blasters and tubs of watered-down paint.

The way the paint runs down the canvases creates a pretty stunning effect in our opinion! 

11. Stencil splatter painting for kids 

Stencil and spray bottle splat paint art

This One Little Project idea is super simple – just make a stencil and have your kids spray watered-down paint over it to create a cool design.

The trick is to water down the paint little by little until it comes out of the spray bottle in a consistency you are happy with.

Debbie also recommends using thick card to make the stencil, so that it retains its shape even when wet.

One of the best things about this activity is that there’s really no limit to what shapes and designs your kids can create. We think using plastic letter and number stencils would make a fun learning experience too.

12. Popsicle stick splatter paint technique

Easy popsicle stick artwork idea

Sick of using paintbrushes or don’t have any to hand?

We always seem to have tons of spare craft sticks lying around, so we think this twist on splatter painting by Little Bins for Little Hands is ideal.

Jumbo popsicle sticks (lolly sticks) will work best for younger children as they’re easier to hold, but you could use smaller ones too.

For this activity, you actually want the paint to be fairly thick as watery paint won’t cling to the stick enough for your kids to splatter it.

We recommend starting with poster paints that aren’t watered down at all, and adding a splash of water only if necessary.

13. Make a paint splatter spinning top 

Paint splatter spinning top idea

Okay, how awesome is this?! 

The Royal Academy suggests making a DIY paint spinner using an old CD or DVD and biro. 

Just secure the pen using a series of looped rubber bands, and spin with the nib of the pen on the paper. If it spins, you’re good to go.

Add paint generously and spin to watch it shoot off the CD and onto the paper. Your kids will love this!

14. Make paint splatter gifts

Splatter painting pebbles and rocks

Do your kids need a bit more of a challenge? If a special occasion is approaching, why not think about making paint splatter gifts your friends and family can keep?

These low-budget paint splat pebbles by Darcy Miller Designs are a really great idea for a paperweight or decorative pebble gift – just make sure you use paint that will resist everyday wear and tear, including damp and water spills.

DIY notebook and pencil splatter paint gifts

Paperweights not your thing? How about these DIY notebooks and pencils by Your DIY Family?

Buy a bunch of bulk plain pencils and notebooks and get splattering away with your choice of durable paint! You’ll likely want to cover the notebooks with contact paper afterwards to protect your splatter paint pattern.

We hope these ideas for how to make splatter paint with kids have inspired you as much as they did us! 

If you enjoyed this post, we think you’ll loveĀ this easy balloon painting activity.

balloon splatter painting activity
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