Peanut Painting for Kids

by Meghan

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Compared to my oldest, Lil’ M (age 2) has never had any attention span.  But now that she is getting older, and when my preschooler is at school, she has started requesting her own ‘projects.’ And, more surprising, without big sister around to takeover, she is fully engaged for 15-30 minutes, an eternity for her.  She loves nothing more than to paint, so this week, we tried a little painting for kids with peanuts!

Part a complete Peanut Unit Study for Kids, this Process Art activity is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.  Use both fine motor skills and gross motor skills to create fun paintings with peanuts

Painting with Peanuts

Lil’ M is an endless ball of energy.  She talks a mile a minute from the moment her eyes open to the second they hit the pillow at night.  And she has one speed – run!  Given this and her shorter attention span, projects, as she likes to call them, can be a bit chaotic.

I try to limit the potential for chaos and her frustration by keeping supplies simple and quantities limited. For this fun painting with kids process art activity, you only need 4 things.

Peanut Painting for Kids - Paint Tray


Assorted tempera paint

Cost: Less than $5
Prep Time: Less than 5 minutes
Clean-Up Time: Less than 5 minutes

Method 1: Moving the Peanut on Paper

My grand vision was to use the peanuts in various forms – with shell, split and with the nuts inside – to make different prints on paper.  No surprise – Lil’ M had other plans. First, she was not interested in getting her hands dirty, which is totally out of character for her.  But that turned it into a fun fine motor skill challenge when she requested her alligator tweezers from our favorite Learning Resources Helping Hands Fine Motor Skill Set.

Painting with Peanuts - Rolling on Paper

Then, she quickly grew bored just rolling the peanut around on the paper.  Time to try something new!

Method 2: Shake it in a box!

She was having a lot of fun using the tweezers and dunking the peanuts in the paint.  To give her a little more action, I decided to let her put her whole body into it! I had just opened a box from my latest Beautycounter order, and the box was still on the counter.  I grabbed it, threw a piece of paper inside, and told her to transfer her paint covered peanuts to the box.

Peanuts Painting for Kids - Shake it Up in a Box

Inspired by Sunny Day Family’s Shake It Up  no mess art jars, I told her when she was ready, to close up the box and shake it up!  She was thrilled, and thoroughly entertained for another 30 minutes or more.

Peanut Painting for Kids - Toddler at Work

After she had made several prints, she decided to decorate them with some nuts too!

Peanuts Painting for Kids - Finished Product

Process art is great for painting with kids, especially toddlers, because you just follow wherever the materials take them… and often the end result is better than anything you could have planned!

Peanuts Unit Study

Today’s post is part of a Peanuts Unit Study Round-Up!  Get more great peanut ideas for kids from the list below.

Learning Activities

Find the Letter P is for Peanut | 3 Boys and a Dog

How Do Peanuts Grow? | Living Ideas

The History of Peanuts | Schooling a Monkey

Food Allergy Books for Children | The Jenny Evolution

Peanut Counting Clip Cards | Simple Fun for Kids

George Washington Carver Books & Resources | Our Daily Craft

Cooking with Kids Activities

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies | Crafty Mama in ME

Peanut Butter Muffins | Sunny Day Family

No Bake Peanut Butter Brownie Truffle | Play Dough & Popsicles

How to Make Peanut Butter & Peanut Butter Play Dough | Parenting Chaos

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies | Kidz Activities

Be sure to visit us next Friday when the unit study covers Bubbles!  If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy SPLAT! Pollock-Inspired Process Art for Toddlers, and the rest of our Art History for Preschool series. You can find all of these on our Art History for Preschool board on Pinterest!

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Judy April 11, 2016 - 8:32 pm

This is a great idea!

PGPBMeghan April 12, 2016 - 8:42 am

Thanks! She LOVES to paint, but at 2 is still pretty messy with it, so I’m constantly trying to come up with ideas that give her ‘creative freedom’ but contain the mess!

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