May 5, 2012

Can a Toddler Use Thick Paint?

Can a Toddler Use Thick Paint?


Calvin has already used paint thinned with water, but today was his first time to paint with thick paint 'right out of the tube'.  The thicker the paint, the more resistance it creates as the brush moves through it.  I wasn't sure if a one year old was ready to use thick paint, but I decided to give it a try.


  • I squirted some tempera paint on a piece of construction paper and handed Calvin a brush.  He held it  in his fist and began painting as if he'd done it a hundred times before. 

  • After a while, he tried painting with the tip of the handle.

  • Calvin turned the brush around and started dabbing the paint on the paper.  After several dabs, he was done.  He crawled off spreading red hand prints all over. No worries.  I always put a large piece of cardboard down when we're painting.  

  • Although this was a short painting session, it was a very successful one.  
                * Calvin had his first experience painting with a brush.
                * He learned that the tip is not as effective as the bristles.
                * He experimented with a new dabbing technique.  

  • I learned that a one year can paint with thick paint.

Extend the Activity:

Toddlers need chubby (fat) brushes to help their coordination while painting. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Melissa and Doug Jumbo Paint Brushes

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  • Alex Toys Beginner Brushes
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  • Alex Jumbo Chubby Beginner Paint Brushes
(click for

Do you have a comment or suggestion? I'd love to hear from you.

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