by: Victoria of A Subtle Revelry

Work with your toddlers on naming shapes and colors with this fun painting activity. The project can be done outdoors on a large piece of poster board to spend a warm spring afternoon. Your children will adore making their own gigantic piece of art. Or paint the front of blank white cards, which will be perfect to send to the grandparents for Mother’s or Father’s day.


Unless your toddlers are very skilled at using kid scissors, you will need to cut the paper rolls into 2 inch chunks for them. Hand them a roll with blunt scissors to try it out while you cut up another one.

Decide together which shapes to make, and talk with them about how many sides and corners you will bend through the process. Bend the paper towel rolls into many different shapes. I used a circle, oval, square, rectangle, diamond and heart.

Place a few dabs of paint on a dry paper plate or other trash-able surface. Experiment with colors; we did one go with just red and another using three different shades.

Let the kids go at it, dipping their shapes and stamping the papers in front of them. Take the teachable moment to have them ask for shapes by name, or be sure to name them yourself as they paint. Let them have fun mixing the colors as they go layering their shapes to make new designs.

Hang up to let dry and enjoy sharing their work!

Project design and photography by Victoria Hudgins