Project adapted from Art Lab for Kids by Susan Schwake.

Try “WET ON WET” painting with watercolor and plastic wrap! What happens to wet paint on wet paper?


Wet-on-wet watercolor paint is hard to control like current circumstances! How does your child react to colors mixing and spreading together? Choosing and adding a stencil on top to paint over the “messy” background can provide some choice, clarity and control. Using brushes and laying/peeling plastic wrap provides good fine motor and sensory experiences. Observing, admiring, and hanging the final product provides the opportunity for talking about art and self-satisfaction.

Ask your child as they create: Does it SPREAD? Is it hard to control? Do the colors MIX? Does the plastic wrap WRINKLE when you TICKLE it? How does that feel to your fingers? Can you PEEL the plastic wrap off? What’s different? Is your painting SHINY, TEXTURED


1)  Tape watercolor/mixed media paper to the table.

2) Wet the entire paper with just a wet brush (that was dipped in water).

3) Try out your colors! Wet your watercolor paints ahead of time to ease child’s frustration and start painting with a wet brush and paint on paper. 

4) Apply stencil and paint over background (optional).

5) Apply plastic wrap sheet. WRINKLES are good! “TICKLE” and “PINCH” the plastic wrap a lot!


7) Next day, child can PEEL off the plastic wrap and make their observations!

8) Hang up on the wall and enjoy!


(you may need to order inexpensive supplies; Melissa & Doug are a great brand on Amazon):
– “Mixed media” pad of paper or watercolor paper
– Paint brushes
– Watercolor set
– Sheet of plastic wrap cut to size of paper
– Animal or any stencils
– Cup with water
– Paper towel or napkin for dabbing/drying brush