Mess Free Painting for babies

I love this poem by our favorite illustrator Nick Sharratt.
Painting is an amazing activity for babies! It is a great way for them to explore
  • Color, shapes, texture, patterns;
  • Sensorial play;
  • Hand-eye coordination;
  • Motor skills;
  • Spatial skills;
  • Creativity;
  • Focus and
  • Fun.
Obviously I couldn’t wait for baby V to show some readiness towards enjoying painting activities.
At about 7-8 months, she finally showed interest in the same and we jumped into mess free painting.
The easiest way is to paint before a bath in the bath tub using bath tub paints ( or simple home made colors), but somehow we weren’t comfortable with this one.
Read on for some cool mess-free painting tips for infants.

1. The zip-lock hack

This has got to be the easiest one. And best of all, all materials are available at home.

  • Dab drops of thick paint on A4 sheet or cardstock.
  • Place the sheet inside a ziplock ( jugaad if you dont have one – use plastic sheet and sellotape it to thefloor or table) and seal it.
  • Tape it to the floor for infants and windows for slightly older babies.
  • Let the baby do her thing.
The ziplock hack

Clockwise from top left 1.Dabs of paint on cardstock 2.Sheet inside ziplock and tape it 3.Baby paints 4.Final creation

P.s. You can use bubble wrap too. It gives a textured kind of effect. I tried to do it but never got past breaking the bubbles. 😉

2. Ice hack

So once baby V started developing her pincer grasp, we moved on to ice painting. This requires a couple of hours of planning though.
  • Pour a bit of paint in the ice tray.
  • Add water and mix.
  • Cover it with sellotape, create a small tear and place a popsicle stick in it.
  • Freeze for a few hours.
  • Remove and give the stick to baby.

Ice hack

3. Textured brushers and rollers

Once the toddler shows interest in shaped or textured brushes, move on to them. These are available at your local craft store (yep, apparently they exist and I’ve started visiting craft stores and “stocking” supplies!)
Jugaad – cut out sponge or foam in different shapes and attach to popsicle stick.

4. Finally.

Finally, when your baby stops mouthing (not happening in the near future in our case) you can move on to finger paints with homemade paints or store bought ones. They are oddly satisfying for the littles. 🙂
Side note
You can frame your baby’s art work, laminate it/ make bookmarks/ keepsakes out of it for gifting.
Feel free to add on to the list in the comments below. 🙂


  1. themeemmum says:

    Great ideas to introduce colouring to the little ones. We never even thought we would be able to do colors before the mouthing stops. Thanks a ton! Very helpful indeed.
    Ps-I love jugaads given. M all for them! 😉

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