Painting Picassos

Help your child and a special friend (A.K.A. Painting Picassos) build important self-expression and social play skills by encouraging them to create a finger paint masterpiece together!

  • Target Age: 4-7
  • Skills:
    • Social and Emotional Skills
    • Language and Literacy Skills
    • Music and Art Appreciation and Performance Skills


  • painting surface: artist canvas; butcher paper; or art paper
  • easel or surface to hold paper (or covered, protected flooring)
  • water or acrylic paints
  • paper towels and water to wash hands in between using colors
  • aprons or old shirts to paint (and don't forget to protect the floor)
  • music for inspiration

Directions: Prepare the young friends to paint like a master artist. Begin by encouraging friends to talk about what they want to paint. Then turn on the music and let them go! Encourage taking turns and be sure they wash their hands to prevent colors from mixing together. When the artists are finished, help them sign and date their masterpiece.

Talk about It: Ask your child to name other things that people paint besides art. How about houses, vehicles, and fences? Then talk about how each artist contributed to the greatness of their finished finger painting masterpiece.

Take it Further: When you drive around town, take notice of commissioned community murals. Find other works of art displayed on community billboards, water towers, etc. to discover local large-scale murals and creative messages.

With a Group: Create a Clifford group mural using sidewalk chalk. Draw an outline of Clifford onto poster board or cardboard to make patterns. Cut out a Clifford pattern for each child. Show them how to trace around the pattern, hand over the chalk and watch them go! Before you know it, there will be an entire sidewalk of outlined Clifford shapes. Have students sign their name inside their pattern and admire the group effort!

Related Books

  • Art Activity Packs: Picasso by Mila Boutan (Chronicle Books LLC)
  • Dan's Angel: A Detective's Guide to the Language of Painting by Alexander Sturgis, Lauren Child (Illustrator)


Find more activities featuring your child’s favorite PBS KIDS character!