One of my earliest memories of painting is this super simple potato print activity that I shared with the Little Tots today. This is one of those classic kids activities that I think we’ve all done and is always a lot of fun. I had some very old potatoes that were going soft so past being edible that were perfect for this activity so as not to waste any food.

To set this up I simply cut the potato in half and carved out simple shapes with a knife. I then set them out with paper, paint and paint brushes and left the Little Tots to enjoy this invitation to paint in the sun.

To keep the shapes simple I went with a circle, triangle, cross and square. I was asked to also create a star and a cat by Georgia but I don’t think my potato carving skills are quite at that level.

At first the younger ones weren’t quite sure what to do with the potatoes so just examined them before using their paint brushes to paint directly on the paper. Once they watched what Georgia was doing they soon picked up the idea and followed suit.


This activity is also a fun way to reinforce shape recognition which the 2 year old with me today is starting grasp and she enjoyed reciting the names of the shapes as she stamped them on the paper.

Jack always enjoys painting so mostly enjoyed getting messy (and getting his arm stuck in in his painting top!) and once he finished his picture he then painted the water table behind him!

They each did several pictures and I can’t wait to display them in our playroom.

Links to learning:

  • Maths – shape recognition, counting as they stamp
  • Sensory – enjoying sensory experience of paint
  • Creativity – colour recognition, painting
  • Literacy – early mark making
  • Physical Development – Holding a paint brush / potato

This post is part of the 2016 Paint-a-thon hosted by Emma Owl so don’t forget to check out over 200+ great painting ideas for kids from lots of other lovely bloggers.

200 Painting Ideas for Children

potato print painting

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