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Safe Play in the City: Outdoor Painting Activities for City Kids

Walls & fences are the perfect places for outdoor painting for kids, especially when outside space is sparse in cities. Find some fun painting ideas here.

Our cities are getting busier and living in this environment with a family can be a real challenge. Where’s the space for children to play, have fun and be creative?

From London to Santiago, Paris to Bangkok, concrete jungles are sometimes more common than local parks! But painting for kids is a fun activity that can be done no matter where you live. We’ve put together a series of Safe Play in the City blog posts for city parents and kids who feel they don’t have much space to play in.

It’s important for every child’s development to have access to safe play whether it be inside or outside; so these articles are packed with lots of creative activities for kids to do, even when outdoor space is limited.

Check out the Activities for Kids page for more safe play ideas to do with your child. We’ve got some ideas to help you find space for your little one to play in - even in the most urban environment. No park required.  

Get creative: Painting ideas for kids

Every child deserves the freedom to play no matter where they live. Think about the space around your home. Do you have a small driveway or yard? Maybe there’s a small piece of pavement in front of your home? Or a wall or fence? Or just a step? All of these places can be a fun play space for your child if you give them some creative things to do in the space like these painting for kids ideas. It just takes a bit of imagination – something that most kids have got plenty of.

Take inspiration from the “tres bon coin” idea in France where local communities are reclaiming corner walls in their cities as places for children to display art work and show off creative skills, or, if you want a really safe space, use the wall of your house.

Using space creatively will develop expression in your child too and give them a different way to look at the world and the challenges of a city environment.  

Outdoor painting for kids

If you have some space outside your home – a driveway or yard or just a wall – why not let your child paint it (non-permanent of course!)? It’s simple to create water-soluble paint that will be washed away next time it rains or with a bucket of old mop water.

Make the paint by mixing 60ml of corn flour with 60ml of water and stirring until it’s mixed well. You can colour the paint with a few drops of food colouring or coloured powder. Don’t use too much food colouring as you want the paint to wash away easily.

Your child can use the paint to design a wall mural, make games like a hopscotch grid, or brighten up paving slabs by making them different colours.  

No yard or driveway? No problem

If you don’t have any outdoor space where it’s safe for your child to play, don’t worry. Why not dedicate a wall inside your home to creating a display of your child’s art work?

You could use sticky tape or create a hanging system using string or an old washing line and some pegs. This would work really well on an outdoor wall or fence too.

Another kids’ painting idea is to get your child to paint and draw a series of images and then display them on the wall like an art gallery to show off the amazing work that they have produced. If you’re doing this on a communal wall perhaps other children in the building or neighbourhood will want to join in and show their paintings off too?  

Paint splashes on clothes?

Don’t worry too much if your child gets poster paint on their cotton T-shirt whilst they are painting their masterpieces to hang on the wall. Just treat the stain as soon as possible by dampening and rubbing with Persil small & mighty, then rinse in water as hot as the fabric allows. You can repeat this until the stain is removed. Then simply wash with Persil.

Just check the label for care details of the stained garment before cleaning the stain. You can find lots more stain removal tips here.  

Do you have any outdoor painting ideas for kids?

How do people in your neighbourhood make the most of the space for their children to play? Share your outdoor games with us in a comment here.