Fill a bucket or other container with water and give toddlers a variety of different types of paintbrushes. Have children paint with the water on the sidewalk or even on a wooden fence. They can paint shapes, letters, pictures, or even just cover the whole space. It can be interesting to watch how the sun dries the water painting and then they can do it all over again!
Show children how to fold a large sheet of construction paper in half. Open up the paper. Fill some cups with paint and let children spoon some dots of paint onto their paper. Fold the paper and let the children rub, pound, and squish the folded paper to move the paint around. Open the paper up to see the design that was made. Each side of the painting will be a mirror image of the other, so you could start a conversation about symmetry and other things in the world around that have symmetry such as butterflies, flowers, or snowflakes. Children might also notice places where the colors they have used have mixed to create new colors or shades.
Goal: Children will explore symmetry and the effect that their hands have on mixing and moving paint.