Having trouble coming up with a great play date activity for your children? I know that when all my littles get together with their cousins to play, things can get messy quickly. Having a planned play date activity can make your life so much easier. Hosting a painting party for kids is perfect for any season, no matter the weather. With some forward thinking, you might just find this is your best party of the year.
Step 1- Send Invitations
If you are thinking about this for a birthday party, there are adorable invitations that are perfect for this gathering. Even if it’s not a birthday party, there are invitations that can stand alone. I would use invites if you are trying to get a group together that is not all family. This makes it “an event” and gets the kids really excited about the party.
Ideas for invitations:
- Traditional invitations
- Themed paint party invitations
- Tiny canvas
Step 2- Gather Kid’s Painting Party Supplies
There are basic party supplies that you will need to get for the party. There are also fun extras that you can pick up to add flair to the party.
- Canvas– for children I love these pre-lined canvases
- Different levels of skill
- Fun themes available
- Canvas for children, teens, and adults
- Paints- make sure that you have a good collection of paints to choose from. Don’t wait until the last minute and realize that your daughters favorite indigo blue has run out and she simply cannot create her masterpiece without it.
- Large cost effective bottles
- Individual pod strips
- Water color palettes
- Painting palettes- these are necessary to the party if you choose to buy large paint bottles since everyone will need to be able to have all the colors close. These palettes allows for uninhibited color mixing, keeping the “stop doing that” bickering to a bare minimum.
- Paint brushes
- mixed packs that have wide and fine tips.
- For young children they make “easy hold” grip brushes
- Paint Markers
- paint markers are great for when you need to get into the tight spaces in pre-lined canvases.
- great if you are concerned about the messiness generated by loose paint and children.
- Water cups- for rinsing the brushes
- Smocks- protecting your clothing is key when it comes to painting.
- Table Cloth– also a great form of protection if your table is porous or you prefer easy clean up.
Consider buying a supply kit…
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of acquiring all the basics individually, there is also the option to pick up a full kit.
All in one kit includes:
Painting Party Canvases for Toddlers
- I picked up the Melissa and Doug paint with water coloring books.
- These are great because they are similar to a coloring book.
- They have thicker lines and wider spaces to accommodate their developing motor skills.
- No messing up the paints by mixing a traditional water color palette (as kids are want to do)
- Easy for traveling/outdoor activity
- Books are about $5 a piece
- 20 pages per book makes it $0.25/Sheet
Here is a review and also someone using it to show exactly how these mess-free painting sheets workout.
Painting Party Canvases for Children and Adults
When it comes to the older kid, theirs can have more detail and a wide range of themes depending on their interests. We picked up the “wildflowers” one for the girls’ room decor. This is great for showcasing their art with something that is also inspiring.
- “Coloring canvas” come in different sizes (10″ x 10″ is usually the biggest you want for this painting party for kids)
- Interesting themes- animals, cars, and mythical creatures to name a few
- Mandalas are great for increasing motor skill development
Step 3- Set Up the Painting Table
Set your table for the painting party for kids before they arrive. Each seat needs to have:
- A palette with paints
- Wide brush
- Detail brush (the thin one)
- Cup of water
- Canvas (you may choose to have them pick one out when they arrive if you pick up different designs)
- Paper towel/plate for holding brush when setting it down/ drying off the water
- Table space for all– If you don’t think you will have enough table room for everyone, you can always pick up a folding table from Cosco. The 6 foot tables that I have come in handy so often for everything from craft parties to family eating functions.
- Seating- to accommodate everyone. If you don’t, renting chairs usually cost $2/per chair
Other Notes on set up
- Use water based paints for easy cleaning
- Put down protective floor cloth
- Use heavy glasses like mason jars to prevent paint water spills
- Put out paper towels or plates to rest paint brushes on
Were you considering getting easels?
- Purchasing table top easels is always an option, but I like to do it the thrifty way and use pizza boxes to support the canvas.
- For less than $1 a piece you can pick up a pack of unused pizza boxes online, or if you don’t mind “brand name”, the next time you’re at a pizza place ask for a few unused ones.
- Here is a Pizza Box Art Easel Tutorial.
Step 4- Set up the Kid’s Painting Party Food and Drinks
Snacks are always a necessity with children. We want to make sure that this theme is complete with fun colorful treats for the kiddos. One of my favorite snacks for kids is a trail mix bar. This healthy treat is fun for everyone and keeps them satiated for a while.
Trail Mix Bar- easy table snack for painting party
- Create an area with several bowls and scoops with all the different mix-ins.
- Pick up some cute and colorful containers for the kids to hold their creations in.
- This will sit nicely on the table and they can munch on it all day.
I’ve made a list of items that are great for kids, but there are a few items that particularly adults will enjoy.
Shopping list for trail mix bar:
- Nuts (everything shelled)-
- Dried Fruit
- banana chips
- coconut flakes
- apple slices
- candied ginger
- Chocolate chips
- M&Ms (look for the rainbow colors too!)
- Peanut butter chips
- White chocolate chips
- Chocolate covered espresso beans
- Gummy animals
- Sesame sticks
- Sunflower seeds
- Wasabi Peas
- Rice checks
Painting Party for Kids- Colorful Food Ideas
This party is all about color. Make sure you find every opportunity to bring color into the food you choose. Here are some of my favorites.
- Cake batter popcorn (delicious and full of rainbow sprinkles)
- Rainbow chex mix
- Rainbow Gold Fish
- Chocolate covered rainbow pretzels
- Superman (rainbow) sherbert
- Rainbow Popsicles
- Unicorn toast… wait what? yes! this would be so much fun to do at a painting party for kids. Check it out!
- My Rainbow Cupcake tutorial would be great for this event too!
Painting Party Power Punch Bar
This is a fun drink station idea. Electrolyte drinks come in all colors imaginable. These are great for keeping kids hydrated and focused.
- Pick up a variety pack of your favor brand’s RTD (ready to drink)
- Choose them individually based on:
- Dietary Concerns (low sugar, organic, natural coloring, etc)
- Remove labels if you want to encourage the color prominence
- Powdered individual packs can also be used with regular water bottles
Large Carafes/ Drink Dispensers
- Powdered drink mixes are more cost effective in the long run
- Create a multi colored drink station with large clear gallon drink dispensers
Painting Party Rainbow Drink
If you want to make a cool layered drink for the kids to enjoy, this one looks easy and delicious!
Rainbow Drink Ingredients:
- Orange Juice
- Strawberry Puree
- Soda Water
- Blue food coloring
Rainbow Drink Directions:
- Fill 3/4 of the glass first with orange juice
- Pour 1-2 oz of strawberry puree down side of glass (it will sink)
- Mix soda with 2-3 drops of food coloring
- Slowly pour soda onto spoon (spoon against side of glass)
Painting Party for Kids Shopping List
This is the complete list for all the items mentioned in this post.
Painting Party Table Set Up Items
Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint Set, 18 Piece (2-Ounce), PROMOABI Assorted Colors I
DecoArt DAPK242-A 64-Pot Value Pack, Primary
36 Set Watercolor Paint Pack with Quality Wood Brushes 8 Colors Washable Water Colors Perfect for Kids Adults, Parties Students Classroom Bulk by Color Swell
Beric Premium Paint Pens 15 pack, Water-based, Marker, Fine Tip, Writes on Almost Anything, Water and Sun Resistant Vibrant Colors Low Odor Long Lasting, Fast Drying Assorted Colors
Acrylic Paint Brush Set, 5 Packs / 50 pcs Nylon Hair Brushes for All Purpose Oil Watercolor Painting Artist Professional Kits
Melissa & Doug Jumbo Paint Brush Set (Arts & Crafts, Easy-to-Grip Handles, Ideal for Beginners, Handy Storage Pouch, Set of 4, 8.7″ H × 6.5″ W × 1.5″ L)
Easel Pizza Box Tutorial
- Table Cloth Protection
- Folding Table
- Paint Party Themed Decorations
Paint Party Food and Drink Shopping
- Trail Mix Bar
Youngever 32 ounce Plastic Bowls, Large Cereal Bowls, Large Soup Bowls, Microwave Safe, Dishwasher Safe, Set of 9 in 9 Assorted Colors
Super Z Outlet 5.5″ Mini Clear Acrylic Plastic Kitchen Scoops for Weddings, Candy Dessert Buffet, Ice Cream, Protein Powders, Coffee, Tea (12 Pack)
- Painting Party Power Punch Bar
- Host Your Own Paint and Sip Party
- My Favorite Party Themes for Kids
- 25 Best Kids Birthday Party Places
Kim’s is the party planning, cupcake loving, celebration catalyst behind the Thrifty Little Mom Blog. Kim was a pro event planner for over 7 years before she became a full-time blogger. Kim is the author of: Live, Save, Spend, Repeat: The Life You Want with the Money You Have. She’s been featured on Time.com, Money.com, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Day and more! Kim aims to inspire you to create parties, celebrations and gatherings that everyone loves!