Painting A Canvas: A Fun Preschool or Kindergarten Activity

This is a quick and practical post about a fun activity we enjoyed recently on our trip to the USA (we live full-time in Guatemala). Hope you get some artsy inspiration!

In rummaging through things I still have at my parent’s house, I came across a large canvas. Years ago I had good intentions of painting it. But, with two little ones, I haven’t had time to dedicate to painting. So, I thought, “let’s paint together!”

Here’s how you can easily and successfully paint a canvas, even with young kids!



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I sectioned off our canvas with masking tape. Then, I invited the kids to paint each section a different color. I told Peanut we’d eventually add dinosaurs, so he wanted to paint the bottom section brown because he said it was dirt. You can get a sense of how it worked in the image below.

Then, we painted and painted and painted.

I let them enjoy it and have fun! There were times when Sweet Pea ran over into another section, we just covered it up at the end. She was really into it!

Our final result was a beautiful, colorful canvas.

They got a kick out of the giant paint shirts I put on them. Usually, at home, I just put play clothes on them. But, we didn’t have good play clothes with us on our trip, so we got out the same paint shirts I used to wear when I was a girl.

After we were done painting, we removed the masking tape. Sweet Pea is in a sensitive period for peeling, so she really enjoyed helping with this part. As you can see, crisp white lines were left between the colored sections, which is a pretty cool effect.

We let the canvas dry for a few days. Then, I drew and cut out dinosaur stencils. Peanut requested a T-Rex and a spiky dinosaur (we don’t have a scientific name for that one). I wanted an Apatosaurus or a Sauropod style dinosaur because I though it would be a good contrast.

This part was trickier because I did use thick paper, but any movement of the paper would ruin the dinosaur print. We used fairly thick, but regular paint brushes. A sponge would have been easier, but we didn’t have any on hand. We chose black paint because it contrasted nicely with all of the colors.

Here’s the finished painting!

We removed the wooden frame and brought it home with us in our suitcase! Now that we’re home, my husband will create a new frame and we’ll hang it up.

The kids were thrilled with the process and were very impressed with the outcome.

For those of you wondering about technicalities, here are the details:

Materials: large canvas, masking tape, paint brushes, stencils, acrylic paints

**We used regular paint brushes (about 1.5 inches thick, they were flat). But, for stencils, I recommend using a sponge.

Have you tried painting a canvas with your little ones? I’d love to hear about it! Tell me in the comments or shoot me an email (


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