Fingerpaint in the bathtub

Anna’s wonders if her finger paint containment idea would work:

I recently let my 18 month-old try finger painting for the first time, and we had a blast. I had him in just his diaper since skin is rather stain-proof, and when I took him out of his high chair, I put him down straight into the tub, removed the diaper, turned on the water, and started scrubbing. Partway through the bath, it occurred to me…why didn’t I just move the finger painting to in the tub? I envision starting in a dry bathtub, commence art, remove completed masterpieces, and begin bathtime. Is this crazy?

My motto: if it works, it’s not crazy. Some types of paint may stain the bathtub enamel (because there’s no way a kid will keep finger paint confined to the page), but I imagine washable paint wouldn’t pose a problem.

What do you think?

Related: Quick cleanup tips for paint-loving kids

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  1. says

    While paint tends not to stain the tub itself, watch out for grout. Even the paints meant for the bathtub can stain grout, it says so right on the package.

  2. Selena says

    I’ve let my toddler use finger paints in the bathtub a few times, and it’s a blast! I just make sure the room is warm, strip her down, let her paint all over the tub and walls– and herself– and then wash it all away with the shower. Be sure to have your camera handy, you’ll get adorable pictures!

  3. Nicole K says

    I’ve let my toddler finger paint in the bathtub wearing just a diaper as well. I just made sure he kept it IN the tub and didn’t get near the walls & grout. It was a great way to contain the mess. When he was done I just pulled off his diaper and washed everything down. You could try the same thing outside in one of those baby swimming pools.

  4. Alex in OC says

    For finger painting I put my 16-month-old in the the high chair, wearing a bib with sleeves. It’s pretty easy to clean up as long as I wipe her hands before taking the bib off.

  5. Bev says

    I’ve never done painting in the bath, for us finger painting is most definitely an outside activity. I have a plastic table and chairs that live outside, and they can paint away out there without me getting too stressed out.

  6. says

    I also like to let the kids use Crayola’s washable finger paint in the bathtub. Once when I was all out of that, I used the regular washable paint. I sprayed a huge puff of shaving cream in each corner of the tub and then drizzled on a little of the regular paint. It worked like a dream! They loved mixing the paint into the shaving cream and then painting the bathtub.

    I have never had a problem with the paint staining the grout, but I would imagine that a little tub cleanser with bleach (usually the mold/mildew cleaning varieties) would likely clean it right up.

  7. Rebecca says

    I second the crayola washable paint, I only buy that brand, it washes out the best. I have done this several times, and it does work like a charm

  8. Julia says

    We have tried homemade sidewalk paint (corn starch, food coloring, and water) in the tub before. No problem with it washing off and/or staining the grout. Big fun!

  9. Elizabetsy says

    I have made homemade bath soaps with baby soap and food coloring. As long as you don’t use too much coloring, it washes right. We’ve not painted on projects, however, just bodies, tubs, etc.

  10. Lindsay says

    Painting in the bathtub has been one of our rainy day staples. I don’t even both with fingerpaints. I strip my son down, plop him in the dry bathtub with brushes and paints and let him try his hand at tiger stripes, camouflage, whatever. Desperate times…

  11. Dallas says

    Read about this today and HAD to try it with my 16 month old. We did the cornstarch/H2O/foodcoloring/liquid soap recipe and she had a BLAST.

    And it just washed away, no mess. AWESOME!