Why Painting In Childcare Is Important

Why Painting In Childcare Is Important

Finger painting is held up as a cornerstone of children’s development for good reason.  When children have free reign with the Childcare paint pot at childcare they are acquiring important skills in their early learning journey. As well as accelerating children’s learning pathways, painting can be a way for children to communicate emotions and tell their stories visually. 

Katrina and her husband did not consider themselves arty at all and wanted their daughter, Greta, to have the chance to develop better artistic skills than they had.  Expeditions Early Learning Journey, found by Katrina on Space childcare directory, had a dedicated painting zone that was always available for children to access, and a specialist art teacher.

Fine and gross motor skills

Applying paint to paper helps very young children learn how to control their movements. As they paint, they can begin to understand cause and effect, permanence and shape and form by observing how their own movements create shapes on the paper.


Painting involves a variety of textures that help children make sense of the world around them.  Rather than just seeing colour and form, they can feel the paint, use different textured implements to apply paint to various surfaces. Painting on wood creates a different effect than on smooth paper and making shapes with hands on paper is different to using a brush.

Colour theory

Children instinctively mix colours and delight in creating new colours from the ones they have. Starting with the three primary colours, children can quickly learn how blending blue, red and yellow can make all the colours in the rainbow.

Colour theory touches many aspects of the world and industry, and children who learn this organically have a head start in understanding how colours work together.


The act of putting paint on paper requires a good deal of focus. Children concentrate carefully on their patterns, forms and colours, particularly if they are attempting to paint an object or person. The natural focus that painting requires helps children build neural pathways that can be translated into improved attention during other activities.

Stress and anxiety relief

Painting can be a soothing activity, helping to lower stress or relax after vigorous exercise.  Gliding paint over paper, painting hands, feeling the cool texture of the paint are all excellent therapy for reducing anxiety. Art therapy is widely used in psychology and children can benefit from reducing anxiety while being creative, enjoying themselves and learning new skills.

Painting is an integral part of the Epping childcare programme and the expedition toward learning.  Early Learning educators ensure children can develop the skills they need, as well as providing opportunities for all children to be creative and learn to enjoy art. 

Kristina was thrilled to see Greta bring home her paintings and show her parents her art displayed at the centre. Her paintings illustrated her thoughts and her experiences as well as being an outlet for her creativity and she could see that art would be a lifelong skill for their daughter.