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Blog - For Parents - Fine Arts & Extracurriculars
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Learning to Paint with Kids Academy

April 8, 2022

Even before babies can pick up or hold a paintbrush, most children love making artwork using their hands. One important way kids explore and learn about the world around them is through their artwork. Veteran parents, educators, and even therapists will expound on way in which the youngest of artists utilize their imaginations and develop creativity by using paints and sometimes shaving cream or the food on their plates to experiment with textures, colors, and images.

As toddlers grow older, teaching kids to paint benefits them far beyond developing their artistic ability. Not only does painting spark their creativity, but it can help children learn to express themselves, boosting their self-esteem. In addition, learning to hold a paint brush and making brush strokes can assist in building the muscles needed to improve pencil grip and early handwriting skills.

Considering the wide-ranging benefits, there’s no reason to hold off teaching your little artist painting as soon as possible! See the tips below to get started and use free coloring pages from Kids Academy as a model for drawing!

Teaching Kids to Paint: The First Steps

1. Start with fingerpaints

Kids love to get messy with fingerpaints! Other than being loads of fun, fingerpainting is one of the best ways to ignite your child’s interest in art and to begin the process of learning to paint. Plan to dress kids in clothes and find a place in (or out of) the house that can get good and messy! Be sure to have non-toxic paint meant for fingerpainting on hand, and plenty of paper plates and construction paper to use for painting. Encourage kids to experiment with colors, shapes, designs, and so much more to help get their creative juices flowing!

2. Explore colors by encouraging kids to mix them to see what happens

After kids have had a chance to play with fingerpaints, start teaching learners about colors and what happens to them when they mix. Use coated paper plates to make a simple space for children to experiment with colors and how they change when mixed. Prompt kids, if needed, to mix specific colors, such as white and red to make pink. Continue mixing colors and use the new hues to create pictures!


3. Experiment with different types and sizes of brushes and paint tools

Once little artists have had their fill of fingerpainting, it’s important to introduce painting tools and brushes. Craft stores have a wide selection of paintbrushes of all types and sizes. Select a variety of different brush types, such as angled and flat brushes. Explore tools, such as painting sponges, spatulas, or even masking tape to create straight lines. Kids may begin to create pictures, or they may just experiment with more abstract designs. Either way, they are learning just by practicing using the different brushes and tools!

4. Practice drawing using models

To advance in painting skills, students must learn to draw well to form pictures. One of the best ways to train young artists to draw is to use models to mimic simple pictures. While kids may not be painting when learning to draw, their drawing skills will transfer over to painting more sophisticated pictures when they do have a paintbrush in hand.

5. Practice, practice, practice!

As with anything else, the best way to get better at something is to practice it often! Luckily artwork and painting brings joy to most kids, especially when they’re young. Simply work in daily art sessions to allow kids ample time to practice and improve their skills!

Using Coloring Pages to Guide Artistic Learning

 Did you know that Kids Academy already offers a large selection of online coloring pages that can be completed on screen, or printed for use at home? Coloring pages can help assist little learners who are just discovering art and painting by helping them to develop a sense for colors and shades.

 fox and bird worksheetfamily coloring page

Even better, Kids Academy coloring pages will not only guide children in their artistic skills, but they review academic subjects, such as English Language Arts, science, social studies, and more! A wide variety of sheets are available that cover holidays, cultures, emotions, and popular fairy tales and nursery rhymes. They can be accessed via the Talented and Gifted app or Kids Academy website, and colored directly on-screen, or they can be printed to be colored by hand.

kids academy letter s worksheet

As already mentionedmentioned, to develop a foundation for advanced painting skills as children grow older, it’s important that they learn to draw. One simple way to practice is by using coloring pages to use as models! Try these suggestions to give kids what they need to be successful:

  • Use an iPad or tablet to trace coloring pages.

The Talented and Gifted app, as well as the Kids Academy website has a large selection coloring pages available that can come in handy for more than just coloring! Most coloring pages consist of simple images with darkened outlines, which make them perfect for tracing. In fact, a coloring page such as this adorable pig tracing page is perfect for teaching kids to draw!

Kids Academy trace the shapes worksheet

Download the page using an iPad or tablet. Place a plain sheet of white printer paper on top of the tablet and encourage your little artist to trace along the lines. Thanks to the illuminated screen, the image will shine through the paper so kids can easily trace.

  • After tracing, encourage children to draw it without tracing.

Afterwards, have your child recreate the image without tracing it until they can reproduce it on their own! Once learners can draw the image accurately without tracing it, ask them to draw it alongside other images they are learning to create complete pictures and to simply practice!

  • Use watercolors instead of crayons or colored pencils to practice brush strokes while coloring.

Another great way to use Kids Academy coloring pages is to print them out and paint them using watercolors! While other paints may be too thick or wet to use on printer paper, watercolors will give children a way to practice using a paintbrush and making brush strokes while coloring the pages. Encourage kids to explore what happens when they use different types of brushes or strokes to color in the images!

Kids Academy's coloring pages also give tips to little artists what color they need to use to dye the specific part of the drawing. There is a batch of the coloring fun worksheets that contain names of colors and visual examples of how to use them on the picture. This will facilitate the child's knowledge of colors' names and understanding of their basic usage on paper.

 yellow and green worksheet by Kids Academy

To many adults, painting might seem like something only artists do, but most parents understand the sheer joy that artwork brings to their children. Since it’s a healthy outlet that fosters a host of benefits for the youngest learners, why not harness that love for creativity and expression by teaching them how to paint? Get started today by finding free coloring pages at or find us on the App Store or Google Play!

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