Art Activities

Surprise Painting

So I am going to be keeping things REALLY simple around here. Why you ask? Because of this beauty!


Swoon! This sweet little girl joined our family last weekend, and needless to say we are all in love, and exhausted. So I have been keeping big girl activities simple and and quick to set up.

Here is one of my favorite ones to turn to. It is almost like a treasure hunt while painting.

Set up is ridiculously simple, you just need some white paper and a white crayon. TIP: I cut the paper in half, you could even do quarters for smaller children. This helps keep their attention a bit longer with out the frustration of trying to find the surprise on a giant piece of paper.


Now show off your creativity mommy! This part isn’t a strong point of mine, but luckily a 4 year old and 2 year old can’t tell mommy isn’t an artist. I wrote out both my girls names and added a few hidden items, butterflies, bees, flowers. The more white space you can mark up the better your children will enjoy it. You can add something you are working on like numbers, shapes, letters. This is a fun way to ask, “What did you find on your paper?” “What do you think that is?” “What else do you think you might find?” If this is simply for fun draw favorite items like tractors, animals, or favorite cartoon characters.


Then hand out your surprise painting activity. Water paints work awesome for this. If you have messy children you can put the paper and paint on a cookie sheet to catch extra water and contain the mess. My table is very easy to wipe up so I just let my girls at it.


My oldest kept begging me to tell her what it was going to be. She was so excited to find out what was hiding on her paper. As she was painting I would ask her what she saw and what she thought was coming next. At first she thought it was her short name, but then she discovered that it was her long name.


There are no lines to stay in, no rules to follow. Both my 2 and 4 year old were happy and content for 20+ minutes. I know my 2 year old would have lasted longer if I could have drawn little bumble bees and naynays (horses). But my art skills have been lost due to sleep deprivation, maybe I’ll try again later in a few months.

I love this activity because it allows each child to work at their level. I mean look at that 2 year olds little hand position on that paint brush, makes my heart flutter! Then my 4 year old worked on filling every corner, and her forehead, with bright colors, hunting for every hidden item.


Here is their finished project. I nursed the babe, got dishes done and made lunch all during the time it took for my littles to make a little surprise art! Love it. Try this activity with your littles and let me know how it goes.

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