Painting with Straws- Toddler Friendly Activities


Painting is always a big hit in our house. It's a fantastic activity for children who love to get messy, and can be used in educational setting as well. It encourages the exploration of colour, fine motor skills when holding brushes and it's a great sensory activity if you let your little one get their hands involved.

I decided recently to do something new with Isla and let her try painting with straws.

To begin we combined bubble mix and paint- the resulting fluid can be quite watery however so we added in a good dollop of PVA glue to keep it thick and make an interesting texture. Then I handed Isla the straws, ensured she knew not to drink through them and let her go to town!


There is no set method and it is always good to let your child lead- I feel like hovering and instructing too much would discourage them from using their imagination. 

When you blow bubbles with the paint mix, they pop and create a fantastic splat effect on the paper. Blowing bubbles with the paint through the straw also helps to develop oral motor strength which helps to aid pronunciation and speech skills.


Isla also really enjoyed scribbling through the paint with the straw as it made a scratchy effect, blowing bubbles and blowing the paint already on the paper.


We talked a lot about what colours we were using and what happened to the paint when we tried different things- flicking, blowing bubbles, dotting onto the paper and mixing with the colours together. You can encourage them to understand their understanding of cause and affect by asking lots of questions e.g. "What do you think will happen if we blow the pink into the green?" and letting them test it for themselves before answering.

It was a lovely way of adding in some new skills and learning different ways to put paint to paper.


We also found that because we had used PVA glue as a thickener, Isla had a cool colourful layer dried on her hand which she really enjoyed pealing off- it fascinated her.

How do you like to shake up a simple activity like painting? Let us know!

Steph xo

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