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Bathtub Watercolor Art

I have completed my second week of attempting to be an organized stay at home Momma (click here to read about my first attempts)! Here is what we did for structured (mostly) morning activities:

Monday-  Strawberry picking and preserving (following directions, our connection to nature and our food)

Tuesday- Bounce House play date at church (socializing, rules, physical activity)

Wednesday- Bathtub Watercolor Art (3 year old; colors, shapes, following directions, creative expression, 16 month old; don't eat the paint)

Thursday- Finger Painting and Hand Print Cards (3 year old; colors, shapes, consideration for others,  16 month old; textures, affecting his environment, not to eat paint)

Friday- Visited the farm with Grammy and learned about rabbits (3 year old; will follow up with library books, making a rabbit house, and planning for rabbits in the fall, 16 month old... well he still calls the rabbits doggies and pants at them, but he enjoyed the farm)


This week's How To (or rather, what we did and can improve on): Bathtub Watercolor Art 



Easy to clean bathtub

Strip of watercolors for each participant

small cup with a tiny bit of water for each participant

paintbrush for each child

damp washcloth for each child

removable shower head (optional, but it makes clean up easier) 


I saw this activity on pinterest a few weeks ago and decided it would be a perfect activity for my boys. I didn't try it out right away because all of my watercolors are in storage making it necessary to fork out a couple bucks to pick up some new paints. I must admit that I thought this activity was going to be a breeze. I even grabbed my cleaning caddy thinking I could scrub the rest of the bathroom while the boys played and then I would just wash out the shower when I was done. That is not quite how it worked. I stripped my toddler down to his diaper and preschooler down to his shorts. I gave them both a quick tutorial on how to wet their paint brushes in the water and then dip the brushes into color and smear it onto the bathtub. I gave very clear parameters regarding where the boys could paint. Then I carefully folded the shower curtain up over the rod to keep it safe and clean.

My boys were excited and ready to get in the tub and start painting while I was eager to see their masterpieces in between washing mirrors. However once both of my younglings were situated I realized that this was NOT an activity that the boys could peacefully  carry out on their own. At 16 months my toddler was just not ready for this activity, at least not in the same tub as his brother. The little guy would grab big brother's water cup, paint, brushes, arm etc, resulting in frustrated squeals from big brothers. He was much more interested in dumping out the water from both cups than in decorating the sides of the tub. I finally decided to pull my toddler out of the tub and let him paint the tub from the outside. He was content and actually painting for about 2 minutes before he started attempting to eat the paint. Yeesh!  I scooped him up, grabbed his paints, brush, and water cup and put him in the tub in the next bathroom. He still wasn't interested in painting, despite being covered in paint himself.  I quickly hosed him off, grabbed kitchen toys and let him set up shop in my room (the room attached to the bathroom my son was painting in).


With my littlest guy happily playing with mini pots and pans I could enjoy the joy and discovery my 3 year old was experiencing. My preschooler LOVED this activity. I would ask him to use a certain paint and he'd carefully go through all the paints until he got to the right color. We would paint shapes and he'd identify them. He loved to create a complete picture, have Momma take a picture and then he would wash the whole thing away inch by inch, not leaving a trace of the "old" picture left.  He could have stayed in there painting for hours (well at least one hour if lunch hadn't been approaching).  He especially loved being able to help clean everything up in the end, spraying off the colors with the removable shower head and watching them run down into the tub, mixing together (like in The Color Kitten's by Margret Wise Brown).

My hope is that I will find a way for both boys to enjoy this activity simultaneously. Perhaps I can use two small inflatable pools outside.  Or create more of a divide between the boys (suction cup some netting across the tub?). Or possibly a little time is needed, and a little more practice.


This Post is linked up at

 Bear Rabbit Bear Crafts

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References (2)

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  • Response
    Response: Walk-in Tubs
    Water color art is becoming more and more popular for the feature of it own.
  • Response
    Response: essayontimes.net
    Children are so crazy to use various types of color on the wall even it would be the wall of the bathroom.From their concept,there is coming a creative thinking towards the decorating all the wall with hand printing designs.The more beautiful designs on the wall ,the more good things will come. ...

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