Active Art

Paint like Pollock

  • Target Age:  3-5 
  • Learning Goals:  art, creative thinking & problem solving
  • Related Episode: Blinky Barnes, Art Expert


  • art by Jackson Pollock (from postcards and art books
  • golf or ping-pong balls
  • paint (washable)
  • paint supplies (brushes, containers, etc.)
  • paper or cloth (large)
  • shoeboxes or diaper-wipe boxes
  • squeezable mustard containers


Create paintings with yourchildren in the style of Jackson Pollock.

  1. Discuss: Show your children some work by the artist Jackson Pollock. Talk to them about his style and method of painting. 
  1. Outdoor Art: Spread a large piece of sturdy paper or cloth on the ground and secure it with rocks. Have your children stand around the edges. Let them squirt paint from mustard containers, or hold a brush above the paper, allowing the paint to drip. (Remind children to avoid splashing each other.)
  1. Ball and Box Art: First, cut paper to fit the bottom of shoebox or diaper-wipe box. Next, pour some paint into shallow containers. Roll golf or ping-pong balls in the paint. Let children place a paint-covered ball in their boxes, tipping them back and forth, so that the ball rolls over the paper. Children can repeat this with balls dipped in different colors.

Talk About It

Talk about the way Jackson Pollock painted. Ask your children: How do the paintings make you feel? Have them talk about things they like or don't like about the paintings.

Take It Further
Use eyedroppers and empty muffin tins to neatly mix paint colors.

With a Group
Invite children to discuss possible ideas before they work together on a painting. Talk about how collaborating on a piece of art can bring different ideas and styles together.

Based on an activity in Play and Learn with Arthur, Volume 1.

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