Paint and write boards for preschoolers

For a little more fun practicing our writing skills, I introduced “paint and write” boards to my class…

We are using Styrofoam boards that I have collected or purchased through our local United Arts and Education store.  Each child had their own board to work with..

We started by adding paint to the boards then each child used a sponge brush, but a regular paint brush works well too, to spread the paint all over their board. The children chose which color they wanted to use…

Then the children used a clean end of a cotton swab to write on the board…

Once the clean end of the cotton swab gets too much paint on it, it works best to then use the other end or get a new cotton swab…

When the children wanted to change their designs, they simply painted back over their designs with a paint brush and started all over again…

I suggest having a paper plate or tray out for the children to put their painting tools on – I did not have one and so we did get paint all over the table when they had to switch tools. But this process was well worth the clean-up!

For those who wanted to keep their designs, we supplied paper for them to lay on top of their designs to make a print…

We found that if the children rubbed their paper (or if there was too much paint on the tray), they would rub away the design underneath so it was best just to simply place the paper on the paint and tap it gently down. Then lift the paper up to see the design…

Here are some of our prints that we put on the wall…


  1. says

    Looks like a lot of fun! I love United Art and Education, they have such a HUGE selection of stuff!
    Question about the trays–are they reusable, like rinse off the paint?

  2. vanessa munsch says

    I love the print idea, very cute!
    I suppose this could be done in a styro plate too if one doesnt have a board…could cute the paper for the print into a circle (older kids could even help) and hang them from a string, make a flower or use them to make different things (a sun, a caterpillar, a butterfly).
    I like it, thanks for the idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

      For sure – there are many ways to extend or expand this idea! Great thinking here!!

  3. says

    i’ve always loved the idea behind these! but i NEVER thought to make art out of their designs. i adore how you displayed them. isn’t it interesting all the different things they did with their trays?

    kind of off topic… what brand or where did you get those short plastic tables they’re working on? need one for the art playgroup i’m starting!


    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

      I actually got them at Walmart. They are folding tables that have legs you can pull out to make tall (for adults) or short for children. We love them and move them often to different areas of the room. They are very light weight too. The only thing I don’t care for is that they are a little on the narrow side – that is why we push two together for many of our projects. That works very well for us.

  4. SarahKaye says

    We are unexpectedly ahead today so I have a day to do something extra and unplanned. I think I’ll used this idea. We don’t have trays but do have styro plates. Since it’s October, I am going to have them use red and yellow paint so it swirls together for orange, then have them make prints on round paper. When dry I’ll give them green pipe cleaners pieces to twist into vines and a brown strip of paper for a stem and voila! Super cute pumpkins made by our super cute punkins!! :) Thanks for the idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. says

      Wow – these are great ideas Sarah! I might have to pull our our styrofoam plates too!