This pinwheel painting is a sensory painting art activity is one that we actually did YEARS ago. It was such a fun messy, creative art activity and a fun one to add to your summer painting ideas, and I wanted to be sure to show you all! My kids still talk about painting with pinwheels, so we’ll be doing this one again soon, especially now that the weather has warmed and we can get back outside for sensory play with the kids!
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Painting with pinwheels is such a simple and fun outdoor painting activity for summer. Or, if you’re looking for a “letter P” theme for preschoolers, painting with pinwheels would be perfect!
You can definitely take this painting activity indoors, with paper spread over the table surface.
To paint with pinwheels, there is just steps to set up this sensory painting activity:
- Set the stage- Find a space to work in the grass or on a table which can be wiped down. This is a messy sensory painting activity! Consider using a wipeable plastic table cloth.
- Pour a little washable paint into bowls. (Click here for our favorite paint for it’s bright colors that don’t fade as they dry.)
- Prepare your paper or canvas. We used a giant roll of paper for big art.
- Dip the pin the pinwheels into the paint.
- Roll, blow, spin, and tap the pinwheels onto the paper with color mixing. This is such a fun and creative painting activity!
Sensory Painting Activity
The paint coated pinwheels make the paint spray, especially as kids start getting more into the activity and discover that blowing the pinwheels makes paint spray in super artistic ways!
Pinwheel painting is a great activity to add to a summer of sensory play!
There are many sensory benefits to this Sensory painting activity:
Oral motor benefits- When children blow out through their mouth with concentrated effort, they are gaining proprioceptive input through their mouth. This is a calming and regulating sensory input that can help to organize and calm down. Read here about the development of oral motor skills. And, check out these oral motor activities for summer play.
Visual Convergence benefits- When we visually track an object as it nears our eyes (such as a pinwheel), and then track it as it moves away from the eyes, visual convergence is occurring. This visual processing skill is needed for functional tasks that we do throughout the day. Here is more information on convergence insufficiency and here are more activities to promote visual convergence skills.
Let us know if you do this Pinwheel Painting art with your kids or your class. More creative sensory painting techniques you may enjoy:
Use these Fine Motor Kits for hands-on activity kits to develop fine motor skills, strength, dexterity, and manipulation. Kids LOVE these fine motor kits for the motivating activities. Therapists love them because it’s fresh, fun ways to work on pinch, grip, manipulation skills, and much more. Try some of these themed therapy kits:
- Fall Fine Motor Kit
- Winter Fine Motor Kit
- Spring Fine Motor Kit
- Summer Fine Motor Kit
- Frogs and Toads Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Letters! Fine Motor Kit
- Outer Space Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit
- Penguin Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Snowman Themed Fine Motor Kit
Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20 years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.