Mess free painting - sensory baby activity

Mess free painting is a great sensory activity for children of all ages. I’ve done it with my son when was he was a baby, and as a toddler. You can do it using items you have at home so it’s totally thrifty!

Mess Free Painting For Babies

Mess free painting is a brilliant activity for babies. It allows them to experience new textures and sensations and incorporates tummy time.

The first time we tried mess free painting, Ollie was around 3 months old.

At the time I just used what I had to hand, which was cling film. I put a piece of paper on a baking tray, added some paint, stretched cling film over it and taped it in place underneath…simple! I laid him on a comfy curved cushion and let him investigate.


It worked pretty well but cling film is a bit flimsy, so if you have a grabby baby like mine, it could tear. I’ve done this activity since with a sealable freezer bag and it works much better.

As a baby, Ollie was fascinated by the different colours. He wasn’t too sure about the texture at first but once he’d investigated a little he found it hilarious squishing the paints together. It also kept him distracted meaning he got a good amount of tummy time!

Mess Free Painting For Toddlers

When Ollie was older, we tried mess free painting again. This time I used a freezer bag with a few blobs of different coloured paint in. I taped it to the patio door, because Ollie doesn’t like being sat still for too long and I could put it at the right height for him. I left it there for the afternoon so he could come back to it whenever he wanted!



At 14 months old, he just liked mixing the colours together and moving the paint around the bag, but older children can draw pictures or shapes in the paint.

This would be a great activity to do on a sunny day. Get the children to make their own suncatchers and see what happens when the light hits them!

I’ll definitely be using this again when Ollie gets a bit older to help him develop his fine motor skills and practice drawing and writing!

Mess Free Painting – Baby Sensory Activity

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