It’s an oldie but always popular with toddlers – bubble painting. We used this simple technique to create the background to our pictures to make it look like the sea. This is guaranteed to make mess so a great one to do outside, or if you can’t get out then lots of newspaper or splash mats are a must.

You Will Need:

  • Bue paint
  • Water
  • Washing up liquid
  • Straws
  • White paper or card
  • Large tray or bowl – a shallow one works best


Mix together the paint, a little water and some washing up liquid in the tray. You can get the children to help with this. Then get them to blow through the staws into the mixture until it bubbles up. Then place a piece of paper gently over the top and lift away and you should have a lovely bubbly effect.

Before doing this with toddlers make sure they first know how to blow with a straw and secondly make sure they understand not to suck as it certainly won’t taste very nice. When we did this activity I had a 4 year old, 2 year old and 20 month old in my care, the 20 month old didn’t quite get the hang of it so I distracted him with just playing with straws at this stage and he was happy to do the next part pressing the paper down onto the mixture.

These didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped but we had great fun making them and think the Little Tots were just so keen to blow the bubbles and push the paper right down onto the paint and then rub it in that I couldn’t convince them to do it more carefully to create a better bubble effect.



Once dry I found some old paintings and cut these into fish shapes and let the Little Tots glue them on top – a great way to recycle paintings. Or you could add bubble wrap fish found here or sponge painting found here on to it.

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