Prep: 10 Minutes / Activity Time: 7-10 Minutes

Children at this age can begin to copy a circle, cut on a line and make horizontal strokes. The strokes of a paintbrush are effective and fun for your child at this stage of development. Paintbrushes move smoothly across the paper and are easy for small hands to hold. This activity gives your child some painting fun.

  • large paintbrushes
  • paint rollers
  • tempera paint
  • a variety of wide unlined paper

Step 1: Set up an area for painting that will make cleanup easy.  

Step 2: Show your child how to dip the paintbrush into a small container of paint, wipe off the excess paint and make strokes on the paper.

Step 3: Encourage your child to paint or draw anything he wishes. Show your child how to paint or draw a large circle. Remember to give specific feedback or praise about his drawing. Ask your child to tell you what he has drawn.

Learn more about pre-reading skills in toddlers 24 to 35 months, or explore recommended children's books and reading tips. 

Start with just one paint color at a time with one paintbrush.


Show your child how to paint or draw a large circle. And then see if he will try.  Show him how to make lines from the top of a page to the bottom or straight across from left to right and right to left. You can begin to show your child how to write the first letter of his name with the paint. Just remember that your child should be able to copy simple lines and shapes before he formally begins to write his name.