Tire painting is a favorite painting activity among
young children too. Many twos and threes love
to play with toy vehicles, and they are doubly at-
tracted to the idea of driving the little cars and
trucks through puddles of paint.
Use shallow trays filled with thin layers of paint.
Choose plastic toy cars and trucks. (Plastic ones are
easier to wash than the metal ones.) Choose toy ve-
hicles that have tires with a bit of tread on them
so they make distinct tire marks. Offer different
vehicle sizes and tire treads so children can explore
creative and authentic art 49
• Have three or four paint colors available for
• Water down the paint slightly.
• Be aware that spin art can get messy. Tape a
plastic grocery bag around the outside of the
salad spinner’s bowl to keep paint mess to a
minimum. Spin Art
In the old days, children could use a record player
to spin a circle of paper while dripping paint onto
it, creating an amazing, swirly artwork. Record
players have gone the way of the dinosaur, but you
can still make spin art in the classroom!
Using an ordinary salad spinner, children can
produce the same effect. First take the lid off the
salad spinner. Then lay a circle of paper in the bot-
tom of the spinner. Next, have the child spoon or
squirt paint onto the paper. You may want to limit
the amount of paint; a few squirts or spoonfuls
should do. If children overdo it, you can show them
the excess paint pooling in the bottom of the spin-
ner. Close the lid and let the child turn the crank or
push the button to spin the salad spinner. As the
spinner turns, it distributes the paint in beautiful
patterns across the paper. After a minute or two of
spinning, take the lid off and reveal the wonderful
and colorful spin art!
Here are a few tips for doing spin art with twos
• Have only one child at a time doing this activity.
• Have several paper circles cut and ready in
advance. Write each child’s name on the back
of a circle before creating the spin art.
Salad spinner art
Children can create eyedropper art on small paper,
large paper, coffee filters, thick watercolor paper, or
poster board. To paint with eyedroppers, use either
liquid watercolor paint in bright colors or tempera
paint diluted with water.
Learning to squeeze the eyedroppers takes some
practice. Have the children get used to eyedroppers
with water only, or with colored water and corn-
starch at the sensory table. After a few successes,
move the eyedroppers over to the art center and fill
them with paint instead.
• Try different-colored papers for different effects.