Make a cardboard paint palette for pretend play for your toddlers and preschoolers. It’s fun for the playroom or the classroom, and it would make a terrific activity for a child’s art-themed birthday party!
My daycare kids love making art, and in particular, they love to paint.
They’re happy with a paintbrush dipped in water or dipping a paintbrush into a pretend puddle of paint!
That’s where these pretend play paint palettes are perfect! No-mess painting, and an opportunity for imaginations and creativity to flourish! Win-win!
I was inspired to make these pretend paint palettes last weekend, when I was looking an old set of kids’ watercolours that we have. The paints came in a black plastic palette which is now pretty much empty, and I was thinking that if I cleaned the palette right out and washed it up, it would make for some fun pretend-painting.
Then I had a “light-bulb moment”, and decided it might be better to make several pretend paint palettes so the Hooligans could paint together, each holding their own palette.
How To Make A Pretend Paint Palette:
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- Acrylic Paints
Note: You could also use our homemade puffy paint recipe for the paints on your palette.
- I began by drawing the shape of a paint palette on to a piece of white cardboard. If you need to trace one, you can find a variety of paint palette shapes here.
- Next, I cut a thumb-hole into one end of the palette.
- Then I traced 8 small circles on the palette and I filled them in with different colours of acrylic craft paint.
That’s all there is to it. Just let the paint dry and they’re ready for play!
Note: You could use markers to colour the “paints” on your palette, but I wanted our pretend paint to look like oil paint, so I used some old, goopy paints that were pretty much ready for the trash.
I set the palettes out on the deck for the afternoon to dry in the sun and today, I presented them to the Hooligans.
My toddlers and preschoolers LOVED this pretend play activity!
They ran around the yard, painting trees and toys, dipping their paintbrushes into their pretend paint, and announcing the colour that they were using.
The kids painted solo and they painted together off and on for the better part of the morning.
Don’t you love an easy, inexpensive idea that provides open-ended play, imagination and creativity? So much fun!!
UPDATE: It’s been over 5 years since I made our pretend play paint palettes and the hooligans still play with them often!
This was definitely a “keeper” of an activity!
Paint Palette Cookies…
P.S. If you’re looking for some sweet treats to serve to your little artists, check out these easy homemade paint palette cookies by Art & Crackers!
More Pretend Play Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers:
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.