Shake It Up! No Mess Painting Activity for Preschoolers

We love to paint, so I am really excited to be part of Emma Owl's Paint-A-Thon, featuring 101 painting ideas for kids! Our project is a really fun one that my preschoolers enjoy, but can easily be done by younger toddlers too. It's no mess, which is awesome, and kids love it because they can shake, wiggle, and make noise too!

Shake It Up: no mess painting for kids! An easy, fun art project toddlers & preschoolers will love

Love this idea? Check out how we used it to paint pumpkins for Halloween here!

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Shake It Up: No Mess Painting Activity

Setting up our Shake It Up painting activity is really easy. You'll need:

Start by cutting your card stock to fit into your jar. I used a large peanut butter jar and cut my paper in half to fit perfectly.  

Carefully add a couple of drops of paint to the bottom of your jar. I used three colors, and just a small amount of each.

Drop a few handfuls of dried beans into your jar on top of the paint, enough to cover the bottom.  Carefully put your paper inside the jar so that it wraps around the sides. Close the lid tightly.

Now for the fun part... Shake It Up! Let your child go nuts shaking, rolling, and moving the jar around. This part is super fun and they love the noise the dried beans make in the jar.

When you're done, carefully remove your painting. Pick off any beans that may be stuck to the paper and allow to dry. That's it! If you use washable paint, you can then easily dump out the beans, rinse, and try again.

You can experiment with different color combinations and make it a great lesson for kids on color mixing too. So fun!

See It in Action!

More No Mess Fun with Shake Painting

We've had so much fun with this project that we've done it a few more times! Check out our No Mess Pumpkin Painting perfect for Halloween, or our Shake It Up Hearts for Valentines's Day!


  1. What a smart Idea! We are absolutely going to have to try this!

  2. Oooooh, what a fun idea! Can't wait to do this one with my kiddo! Thanks for sharing on #ToddlerFunFriday!

  3. What's better than painting where you get to make noise too? lol! Looks like fun!

    1. Bells!!!!! Instead of marbles.

  4. What an awesome idea. It's a toy and a painting activity all in one!

  5. Haha brilliant, what a clever idea! Xx #toddlerfunfriday

  6. Wow.... super idea, very clever, must try with my 19months old son!

  7. Awesome !!!!!

  8. LOVE this! Perfect for my kiddo with delayed motor skills, and perfect for days when I am not in the mood for a messy art project. I'm writing about our experience with it and sharing this link on my blog :) Thanks for the great idea!!

  9. Tried this with my preschool class and it went great. The children had fun choosing their own colors and shaking the jar. I also added in that they could roll or twist it on the floor. Great idea!!

  10. Tried this with marbles instead. Had lots of fun with my munchkin with all the shaking! He also rolled the jar on the floor and was delighted with the result! Thanks for this great idea!


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