Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Jackson Pollock Painting with Kids

Looking for a creative outdoor activity? Jackson Pollock painting is a unique way to introduce your kids to a famous artist while also getting their bodies moving!

Have you ever tried action art? This is one of our favorite ways to make art because the creators are in motion while they paint or design. Jackson Pollock was famous for his abstract drip painting and using dance like actions while he created. 

This simple painting activity is quick to set up and is sure to WOW your kids!

Want to see our art activities in action? Follow me at @KristinaToddlerApproved on Instagram or go HERE to see them in our Art Instagram Stories highlight

RELATED: Need other fun outdoor activities to try? Here are 25 quick ways to burn off toddler energy.

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How do you introduce Jackson Pollock to kids?

When I introduce a new artist to our kids, I like to do 3 things.

1. Teach them a few simple facts about the artist, including showing them a short video about the artist. There are so many simple & short ones on YouTube. Make sure you preview anything you show to your kids first.

2. Read any books we have about the artist.

3. Get them creating, inspired by the artist!

Here are some of our favorite Jackson Pollock resources:

READ: Jackson Pollock by Mike Venezia and Olivia by Ian Falconer (Olivia sees a Jackson Pollock in the book, see if your kids can find this part in the book)

We watched the first 8-10 minutes of this video while our kids ate lunch and then we watched the last 7 minutes of the video where the kids made a giant Pollock painting using a zipline and water guns. It was pretty inspiring. 

Then we were ready to create!

How do you do Pollock Painting?

  • Large white paper
  • Rocks or tape to secure the paper
  • Washable paint (any type, we use tempera)
  • Water
  • Paintbrushes
  • Cups of water
  • Cups for the paint

RELATED: Want to learn about other famous artists? Go here for more simple activities inspired by Great Artists.


  • Place paint in cups and have kids help add some water to make the paint the thickness of pancake batter.
  • Lay out large paper and secure in place with rocks or tape depending on where you are painting. I recommend you do this outside!

  • Review your expectations with your kids. I explained that they needed to drip and splat the paint onto the paper only. I let them know that they might get some paint on their clothes or feet, but to use self control so that most of the paint helped make their beautiful creation.
  • ** Make sure you use WASHABLE paint and have your kids wear clothes that are ok to get a little dirty.
  • Give each child a darker color to start with (we used dark blue). Invite them to start dripping painting in a variety of ways over their "canvas" like they observed Jackson Pollock do.
  • Invite kids to use other brighter (more contrasting colors) next to drip and splat.
  • Keep layering the colors and drips until your child feels that their masterpiece is finished.

  • **Younger children will need more help with this activity than older children as they learn how to move the brush around. You can demonstrate for them if needed.


Once the creating is done, have kids take time to walk around and see each piece of finished artwork and ask any questions or make any observations. We like to call this a Gallery walk. It is a simple way to introduce kids to looking at art. We practice putting our hands behind our backs while we walk around to discourage touching any art.

Do you have any other favorite art activities for kids inspired by famous artists? Please share them with us!

You can find all of the art activities found in our Famous Artists series HERE.

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