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Celebrating Children’s Art Week - 5 art activates for under 5s

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

It’s Children’s Art Week!

So, what better time than this weekend to get creative and make some amazing artwork with your little one.

Below we’ve listed 5 activities to get you inspired, each one isn’t just super fun, it’ll also help your little one develop a range of Early Years skills including:

  • Expressive arts and design – allowing your little one to be creative in their own way will help them learn how to express their emotions through various outlets and grow in self-confidence.

  • Physical Skills – these activities will help your child work on their fine motor skills, essential for writing when they start school.

  • Communication and Language – they will learn new vocabulary, listening, and understanding (in this case instructions and discussions about the activity).

  • Mathematics – add counting when grabbing each item to enhance their learning.

Let’s dive straight in!

Please note we’ve used structured activities like painting and sculpting but art can take on so many different forms including making music, dancing, roleplay and more.

The Activity: Painting with Frozen Paint Cubes

You will need:

  • Washable Paints

  • Water

  • Ice cube Tray

  • Ice Lolly Sticks

  • Paper/something to paint on


  1. Start by adding some paint to an ice cube tray and mix it with a bit of water. Add a variety of colours to give your little one plenty of paints to play with.

  2. Add in your ice lolly stick and freeze overnight.

  3. The next day pop these out and your little one can explore the frozen paint! Please note this can very quickly turn into a very messy activity.

The Activity: Sponge Painting

You will need:

  • Washable Paints

  • Sponges

  • Paintbrush (optional)

  • Card paper/something to paint on


  1. There are so many different ways in which your little one can get creative with sponge painting!

You can either lay out the paints and let them dip into whichever or you can use your brush to create various patterns and have them stamp these onto your paper/painting medium.

However, you do it, this activity is all about being creative with no limits! But please note it can get very messy very quickly.

The Activity: Salt Painting

You will need:

  • PVA or Craft Glue

  • Salt

  • Food Colouring or Paint (Variety Of Colours)

  • White Card Paper

  • Pencil (Optional)

  • Pipette or Paintbrush


  1. Either trace a template or draw a design using glue onto card paper.

  2. Sprinkle with a good amount of salt and then carefully pour off the excess.

  3. Leave to dry.

  4. Mix a few tablespoons of water with your food colouring or paint.

  5. Dip the brush or pipette into your colours and colour one droplet at a time.

  6. Leave your salt painting to dry overnight!

The Activity: Painting Using Natural Materials

You will need:

  • Pinecones, Leaves, Pebbles and Other Natural Materials

  • Paint

  • Card Paper

  • Paper Plate


  1. Choose your paint colours and add them to your paper plate.

  2. Dip your pinecone or other natural materials in various paint colours and drop them on the card paper or roll them around to make cool patterns.

  3. Leave to dry!

The Activity: Salt Dough Sculptures

You will need:

  • 2 cups of flour

  • 1 cup of salt

  • 1 cup of water

  • Bowl

  • Paint

  • Paintbrush or sponge


  1. Mix the flour and salt followed by the water.

  2. Knead the mixture into a dough.

  3. Get creating! You can make anything from faces to animals, plants and more.

  4. Once your amazing sculpture is done dry it out in the oven (100 degrees for a few hours – turn your creation every once in a while).

  5. Once your sculpture is fully dried, you can paint it!

Additional resources

Book recommendations to enhance their activities

More creative activity inspo

Guides to Early Years Creativity


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