Dropper Painting: A FUN Preschool Activity

dropper painting 3

What’s more fun than painting? Dropper painting. If your little one has already become a pro at using a paintbrush, why not add in another interesting element? There are many ways to paint, and one that we just discovered at our house is dropper painting.

Most mothers with young children have accrued a fairly large quantity of medicine droppers. We have loads! So, I thought rather than tossing them, we’d have fun painting with them. Below is everything you need to know about dropper painting:


  • Droppers, one for each color of paint
  • Tempera paints
  • Old containers, I used yogurt cups
  • Paper, I recommend using a fairly sturdy option – ours was too thin and got a bit wrinkled when it dried!

For each color, mix a tiny little bit of water with the paint so it’s slightly more runny than usual. This makes it easier to draw it up into the dropper.


Teach It!

As a Montessorian, I always teach by example. I showed my little peanut how to get paint with the dropper and drip it onto the page. After one demonstration, he was off and running! The only tricky part seemed to be getting the paint into the dropper. So, I reinforced by telling him to “squeeze” and “let go” with the dropper still in the paint.

What Benefits Are Gained with Dropper Painting?

  • Your child will develop his or her pincer grip
  • Your child can learn about color mixing
  • Your child will enjoy expressing themselves artistically


Pincer what? The pincer grip is the grip we use to hold a pen or pencil. Young children must develop their fine motor skills to be able to execute this grip. Any activities that practice this grip (using the pointer finger, middle finger and thumb) help strengthen your child’s muscles, preparing them to have more control as they begin writing and drawing.

My little peanut used yellow and blue. Towards the end of the activity, he began experimenting with mixing. Now, we’ve done this before, so I got comments like “Lets see what color it makes when we mix blue and yellow!” and then “Look, Mama it’s green!” Children almost always enjoy color mixing I find!

So, what are you waiting for? Get out those old medicine droppers, some paint and make some art!

Here’s my peanut having fun with this activity:


12 thoughts on “Dropper Painting: A FUN Preschool Activity

    • Haha – surprisingly it was less messy than when we’ve painted with paintbrushes…but do recommend a smock and newspaper for the littlest ones!

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