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Toddler Paint Bath Sensory Art

Give your toddler paint bath time for a fun sensory art experience, and maybe even a little break for mommy. They’ll love making a giant mess in the tub, and you’ll love how easily it washes away!

Toddler Paint Bath


If there’s one thing all toddlers seem to know how to do, it’s make a mess. Am I right?

Toddler Paint Bath Mess

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to encourage their…let’s call it creativity, while still containing the mess.

Welcome moms, to the world of bath paint.

Plop your toddler in the tub, give them a palette of colorful homemade bath paint, and get a full 20 minutes of time to do what mommy needs to do.

Toddler Paint Bath

Or you could be like me, and stand there the whole time laughing and taking pictures. Because you will seriously LOVE watching a first-time toddler paint bath.

It starts with uncertainty, wondering if you’re really telling them it’s okay to make a mess.

Toddler Paint Bath

Then a timid exploration of dipping their fingers in and finger painting on the surface of the tub.

Toddler Paint Bath

But soon they will be relishing the sensory experience, and are likely to cover their entire body, as well as the tub. It’s really entertaining, and a fun bonding experience.


  • Make sure your soap/shampoo to corn starch ratio is correct. You need a 1:1 ratio. Too much soap and it doesn’t really paint. Too much corn starch, and you may end up with a purple child. Yes, I tested this theory just for you! (If you do accidentally use too little shampoo, fill your sink with warm water and a scoop of Oxi Clean to wash their hands in.)

Food Coloring Stained Hands

  • Set age appropriate expectations and boundaries. When Corban was barely two, my only rule was to “Keep the paint inside the bath”. As he grew older, I started incorporating more rules that allowed him to to have a toddler paint bath without supervision. Things like “You have SIT during a paint bath” or “No painting your hair”. The hair rule is for my own sanity because he hates getting water on his face and rinsing the paint out undid all the fun of the paint bath.

Toddler Paint Bath

  • Check in periodically. The joy of the toddler paint bath is that they are contained, and there’s no water so they don’t need constant supervision. I can now sit in my office across from the bathroom and do some computer work while the kids play with bath paint. Sometimes I even go do a load of dishes. But it also took some time to make sure both kids knew and followed the rules (mostly keeping the paint IN THE BATH!).


Easy clean up bath paint

As I mentioned above, it’s important to have a 1:1 ratio for your bath paint recipe. The first recipe I found and tried only had a few drops of baby shampoo in it, and I ended up with a child covered in food coloring even after I rinsed him off and soaped him down.

We’ve now had at least 20 toddler paint baths between two kids, so I have truly perfected the recipe for easy clean up bath paint.

  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup shampoo, hand soap, or shower gel (anything soapy that you would use on your toddler)
  • 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup hand soap
Add 1/2 cup hand soap
cornstarch hand soap and water mix for bath paint
Mix then add 1/4 cup water

Make sure to mix the cornstarch and soap/shampoo first. Then mix in the the water 1 tablespoon at a time (with a total of 4 tablespoons) to keep the mix from getting sudsy.

Coloful Bath Paint in Muffin Tin

Then you can pour it into a muffin tin, ice cube tray, or painter palette. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring into each one. This is a great opportunity to let your toddler have some “control” by choosing which colors they want.

You can let them paint with their fingers, or give them some chunky paint brushes to use.

You can get all the supplies at your local store, or buy them on Amazon so you don’t have to leave the house!


If you buy ANYTHING on Amazon from one of these links, we get a little commission without it costing you any extra. Thanks for supporting our family business!





And make sure to follow our Kids Crafts and Activities Board for more fun ideas!

Toddler Paint Bath


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