Water Painting on Coloured Chalk

Have some creative fun (and some playful literacy too) with an easy, indoor, water painting activity!
Pop is verging on being obsessed with painting and wants to do it ALL the time.  So much so that “paint, Mummy” was one of her first sentences! But we can’t have painting out all day as she will paint on anything and everything, so this week I came up with an idea to keep her happy and it has proven very popular with them both.

I shaded all over their chalkboard  easel using the side edges of coloured chalk. Some days I made it multi-coloured like a rainbow, others just one.

Then I set out paint pots filled with clean water and a range of thick and thin paintbrushes for experimenting with.

Pop loved water painting through the colourful chalk background and was absolutely thrilled to have permanent access to her special “paints” at all times.

She took the paintbrushes for a walk and made some lovely curving shapes, refining her gross motor skills as she did so!

When Cakie had a go she immediately wanted to paint pictures and represent people and objects.

This is a FINE portrayal of Daddy!

She loved how quickly it dried and that she could start over very quickly and this fact kept drawing her back often for new experimenting and play. She started practising her mark-making and letter formation and was particularly good at making the first letter from her name using a large, sweeping movement.

Gross motor letter writing is a very important stage of early mark-making and literacy skills. It improves co-ordination, arm and hand strength and gets children ready for more refined fine-motor skills later on.

Learning Links:
Literacy: practise writing graphemes from own name (and then beyond), make marks to represent meaning, experiment with role-play/emergent writing, being to form letters correctly

Creativity: explore media in two and three dimensions, make marks and patterns to represent objects and people

Physical: practise gross motor arm and hand movements, hold a tool correctly, strengthening shoulder and upper arm muscles, good posture and rotation from the shoulder and elbow when painting/ mark-making

Cakie: 3 years 4 months
Pop: 22 months


  1. says

    What a fab idea. I too have a real problem with anything ‘messy’ being left out- even pens are an issue right now, but water I can cope with! Think I may need to stock up on chalks!

  2. says

    I have always let my preschoolers paint with water on the chalkboard, but it never occurred to me to color it with chalk first. What a beautiful colorful idea! Thanks!

  3. says

    You are brilliant. My little boy is 2 and would LOVE to do this, and I would love not cleaning up paint everywhere like I usually do. Thank you SO much for another great idea!!

  4. says

    Great idea! My older two are responsible enough with their paints to do it on their own, but I’m keeping this in mind for when my twins are a bit bigger. :)

  5. says

    This is brilliant, and I love the fact that it’s minimal mess! I’ve pinned it, and shared on twitter too. I really like that you put the ages of your children at the bottom, such a helpful guideline.

  6. says

    What a great idea…i am running out of rainy day activities that don’t redecorate the house so this will be great for my toddler twosome!Thankyou!