Hosting a painting party for your little kid and their friends is just about as fun as you can imagine. It would be an excellent opportunity to get a little messy, stir up their creative juices, and entertain them. Plus, kids love to color! Unlike adults who might get intimidated if you invite them to a painting party and they weren’t artsy, kids are usually fond of art-making as their imaginations run wild. Children of all ages love to paint, and this activity is more fun when their friends are around.
If your little one loves to make art, throw him or her a painting party for their birthday or a special occasion! Here are some great ideas to help you host one:
If your child is planning on inviting his or her friends, sending out invitations is a great idea. It makes the event official, and it will help kids get very excited about the party.
You may want to use traditional invitations according to your theme, do it DIY, and print it out. But here are some creative ideas for your invitation:
- Get blank invitations and let your kid design his or her own invitations! Help your child out to make the process easier, but give him or her the creative direction on how he or she wants the invitation to look like. One easy way would be getting the celebrant’s hand stamped on the front pages using washable acrylic paint! Your kid will surely have fun!
- You can choose to do a DIY invitation with an artist palette as a design. Get or design an image of an artist palette on the computer and edit it to put words, like “You are Invited to Chuck’s 7th Birthday Party!” Print them, cut them out, and glue them to the front page of blank card envelopes. Use gold and silver glitter pens to write on the inside of the black card.
- If you need one less thing to prepare, you can buy ready-made invitations that you can simply fill in and send to your guests. Here are some beautiful invitations perfect for the party:
- Papery Pop Art Party Invitations with Envelopes
- Art Rainbow Paint Splatter, Color Palette Kids Birthday Party Invitations
- Art Painting Birthday Party Invitations
- Creative Converting Art Party Invitations
- Art & Painting Birthday Party Invitations
- Girls Painting 3 Happy Birthday Invitations
For a kid’s painting party, you need to gather a few basic supplies along with extra things that can add flair to the party. Make sure you provide each of your guests their own canvas, a painting palette, and a set of paintbrushes – you don’t want to cause a kid’s fight in case some of them don’t want to share!
Make sure you provide a table large and wide enough to accommodate the painting activities of your guests. You can line up multiple tables of the same size and height and cover them with a plastic tablecloth for protection.
Since the party involves kids, you have to stay away from paint types that are toxic and unfriendly to children. You don’t also need to provide high-end, professional-grade paints – kids won’t appreciate that, and your efforts would go to waste. What kids need is paint that can color brightly as they please.
Provide either acrylic or watercolor paints. Both are easy to work with. Acrylic is an easy material to work with. It dries fast, it covers well, and it’s friendly for beginners and kids. Meanwhile, watercolor is convenient and easy to clean up. Most kids have already used watercolor in school anyway, so they already know how to use it and how to have fun with it!
The first thing you must do is to make sure that there’s a nice collection of paints the kids can use at the party. Make sure you get the basic colors covered.
You may get a large, non-toxic, acrylic paint set like this 8-color set or this 14-color set and let the kids get their own supply to place on their painting palettes. If you have a small party, provide smaller acrylic paint sets with more colors. You may also offer them individual acrylic paint sets that they can take home after the party.
If you prefer a more child-friendly paint material, use watercolor. Provide them with a basic watercolor pack and let them mix the shades on their own.
For children, you can give them a thick enough piece of painting paper for their art. You can offer them a giant fingerpaint paper to encourage them to paint big works of art, or if you want to make it a finger painting party. Just make sure that you have big tables for these, or a large enough space so the kids can paint on the floor.
But while the paper is great, there’s a magical, big-kid appeal when you give kids an opportunity to work on a real canvas. If you have the budget, go for it!
You can get canvas and easel sets that are great for the tabletop since you probably don’t want to (and you don’t need to) invest in many standalone easels just for the party. Or, you can build a DIY long easel ledge that can extend to the full length of the table, so you only need to provide canvas.
4. Painting palettes
Painting palettes are super essential for a painting party, especially if you are planning to use large acrylic paint bottles because every child will need to have their colors as close to them as possible. Giving them palettes can also allow the children to mix and try various blends of colors and not mess with the original hues inside the bottles.
Provide paint palettes for every kid, but if you want a more cost-effective option, use white paper plates. You can use a utility knife to cut a circle on one side to use as a thumb hole for added appeal.
Find an assortment of paint brushes for your guests, or provide a basic paint brush set of different sizes for each kid. Don’t underestimate how many the children will manage to use in a single painting party.
6. Smocks and aprons
Messy clothes are always concerning, but you can buy a few smocks or aprons to avoid it. If you do not prefer to provide smocks, you can ask the guests to come in clothes that are okay to get painted at or have them come with an apron or smock of their own.
7. Water cups
You also need water cups for rinsing the brushes. Plastic disposable cups with tap water would be fine. But if you want to prevent spills, use heavy glasses like mason jars as paint water cups. Don’t use cups that are the same as the drinking cups you will provide so as to avoid confusion.
8. Protection for the floor
Painting with kids can be messy, and you probably want to protect your floor. For this reason, washable paints are the most ideal, but if your floor surface is porous, or if it’s carpeted and you don’t want to remove it, it’s best to add a layer of protection.
If your floor is made of a non-porous material, you may want to protect it with old newspapers taped together or a canvas drop cloth that you can reuse for your home painting job. This will help make post-party cleanup easy.
If the kids would be working on the floor, you may prefer a plastic drop cloth.
A party isn’t complete without decorations. Even if the kids are doing art, you have to set the mood and make some art yourself.
Use art-themed plates and napkins for lunch, and even for your dessert plates. Or you can get an all-in-one pack complete with plates, drinking cups, napkins, a banner, and a tablecloth to suit your painting party.
Clever snack ideas are necessary for a painting party. Here are some food ideas to serve at a painting party:
- For your main dish for lunch, make the menu colorful by serving meat, vegetables, and fruit. You may want to serve burgers complete with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and other colored ingredients; or red hotdogs with mayo, ketchup, mustard, and pickles.
- Serve colorful cupcakes and top them off with paintbrush toppers.
- Set up a trail mix bar for a mix of healthy and sweet treats. You can create an area with several bowls and scoops containing different mix-ins. To make it more attractive, pick up clear bowls and let the colors of the contents pop out! But make sure that the mix-ins on the table are safe for everybody to consume. It’s best to know beforehand if any child attending the party is allergic to nuts or any food item you may want to include in the trail mix. You can serve nuts (peanuts, cashews, pistachios, almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.), colorful sweets (gummy candies, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, M&Ms, Kisses, rock candy crystals, etc.), dried fruits (banana chips, mango, apple slices, cranberries, raisins, etc.) and other crunchy treats (pretzels, popcorn, cheerios, etc.).
- Serve multi-colored treats because a painting party is all about the colors and art! Serve snacks like colorful popcorn, French macaroons, rainbow popsicles, rainbow cake bites, and the like.
- The birthday cake, which must be the centerpiece at the buffet, should be colorful inside and out! Buy from the store or get a local baker to have a fun and colorful cake customized for the event!
- Serve mini desserts in these cute little buckets and let them take it home as a party favor.
A drink station with different colors is an awesome thing to set out at the party. This will ensure that the kids would stay hydrated during this party.
Use a couple of drink dispensers and create a multi-colored drink station. You can make different flavors of fruity punches, but the more cost-effective option is to use powdered drink mixes of various fruity flavors.
You can simply serve varieties of juice boxes to lessen your preparation. Keep it cool in a cooler and let the kids choose the flavor they like.
Make sure you serve drinking water, not just flavored drinks! You can provide a huge gallon drink dispenser for water or give individual bottles a cheerful sticker to stick to the theme.
While it’s common to give out party favors (especially at a children’s party), you may not need to prepare something to give away for a painting party. Simply let them take home their artwork and even the painting materials they already used, like the individual paint sets, paint palette, and/or aprons and smocks you provided. Before the party starts, you may place the painting materials for each guest on these goody bags, and ask the kids to keep that bag so they can take home their paints later.
But if you decide to still give some party favors away, these are some ideas.
- Use a coloring goody bag or colorful drawstring pouches and fill it with candy, treats, or small art materials. The kids can reuse those bags for school items or toys.
- Give away these art party favor assortment that includes tote bags, paint splatter tattoos, friendship bracelets, and striped pencils. Less thing to stress about for you!
- Give them a glittery stackable crayon or this stacking buildable crayons. It’s fun and artsy at the same time.
- Fill this art cellophane goody bag or this art goody bag with candies, biscuits, cookies, small toys, accessories, and other things you think your guests would like.
Tips for a Smoother Party
- Choose a theme for your party and encourage the kids to paint in relation to the theme. If you tell the kids to paint anything, some may have trouble starting because there are many options to paint about. For example, you can choose a flower theme and watch kids paint a beautiful variety of flowers. Another option is to select a single, professional work of art and let the kids replicate it in their own style. This way, no time is being wasted thinking of what to paint.
- Before the kids arrive for the party, set your tables with the painting materials. Each seat must have:
- A palette with paints (or an individual paint set)
- Canvas or painting paper
- Cups of water and extra cups for mixing colors
- A wide brush and a detail brush, or a basic set of brushes
- Paper plate for holding used brushes
- Always be on standby to help the children rinse their brushes to keep them from drying out and to minimize the post-party cleanup.
- The timing of the party is important as paintings can take longer than expected, especially when the kids are socializing. Make sure you start the party early so that the kids won’t go home late.
- You can provide pencils to allow kids to sketch first before painting. Sometimes, it might be best to pre-trace the canvases and outline the drawings to paint according to the design.
- Keep a hairdryer ready. When acrylic paints are applied too thick, it will take a longer time to dry. You can help by using a hairdryer on a kid’s artwork. But don’t let little kids operate it – it’s best if you handle the dryer instead of them.
- At the end of the party, make sure you take a photo of all the kids standing together holding their artwork!