Everyday, Simple Idea #22: Paint Brush and Water

I am sharing some of the simple, daily things I do at home as a Mom that come from my occupational therapy background.

#22. Paint Brush and Water

This tip is good for hours of entertainment with minimal mess!  Give your child a cup of water and a paint brush of any size.

Why?  Easy and appropriate for toddlers through school-aged children.  Minimal supplies and mess.  Sensory exploration with water.  Fine motor and visual-motor development using the paint brush.  Cognitive skills through creativity and exploration.

What to paint?


  • Construction paper (colored paper works better than white)
  • Chalkboard
  • Cloth table cloth or beach towel (just toss in the dryer afterwards)


  • Sidewalk or driveway
  • Wood on decks, siding, or fences
  • Rocks
  • Trees
  • Sand, mud, mulch… just about anything outside

Fun Variations:eye dropper

  • Paint roller and tray
  • Spray bottle
  • Explore how water drips, splatters, and runs
  • Use alternative to a brush- Q-tip, eye dropper, fingers, or small syringes


Looking for other activities for home?

Paige Hays is an occupational therapist who provides in-home, pediatric occupational therapy services in the south metro area of the Twin Cities, MN. She is a mother of 2 girls, avid DIYer, and a highly skilled and experienced OT. She specializes in working in pediatrics, with diverse expertise ranging from cognition and sensory issues to working with children with neuromuscular disabilities or complex medical needs.  www.paigehays.net