Scrape painting – an easy to set up art activity that your kids will love!

How awesome is this painting activity? You only need a few materials and the end result is just plain gorgeous! This activity is one of the simple open-ended art exploration ideas included in my friend TinkerLab’s NEW book- Art Starts!

Doing art with your kids doesn’t have to involve a lot of prep time or complicated materials. I love doing simple art activities like this using my recycling- especially cardboard boxes!

RELATED: Need more fun ways to paint with your kids? Try these 15 creative ways to paint with toddlers.

How do you set up for scrape painting?

It’s so easy to set up for scrape painting and only takes a few minutes! Grab your paint, cardboard, and paper! Tape down some paper, squeeze your paint, and you’re ready to create.

Letting kids squeeze the paint onto the paper helps them get excited and involved in the art process.

I like to give kids yellow, red, and blue paint because the color combinations are beautiful. Remind kids to squeeze paint onto the paper.

Supplies Needed for Scrape Painting:

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Scrape painting is an open-ended process centered art activity!

RELATED: Love learning about different artists and how they create? Check out these 7 art ideas inspired by famous artists.

painting activity with cardboard

What is process art?

Process art is a type of art that focus on the art making experience and NOT on the end result. The end result of the art project might be beautiful, but the main focus is on creating with the materials and exploring and enjoying the experiences, versus the end product of the art activity.

Process art allows kids to make choices, problem solve, and explore materials. Because there are no specific steps to follow and no sample projects, kids can use their own imaginations and aren’t limited to what other people think they should create.

Process art is my favorite type of art because it allows kids to express themselves and share their personalities too.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) shares that children learn the following things through process art:

  1. Social and emotional skills as they express their feelings and feel successful.
  2. Language and literacy as they may discuss art and add to it.
  3. Cognitive skills as they plan and problem solve.
  4. Physical skills as they paint, build, and draw using their small motor skills.
process art for kids

How do you do scrape painting?

It’s so easy you won’t believe it!

Squeeze the paint.

Scrape across the paint and paper with a piece of cardboard (or a comb).


Once you’re done painting, let your creation dry and then you can display it! I also love using art like this for wrapping paper!

What are Art Starts?

Art Starts are easy creativity-boosting setups for children ages 3-8, featuring simple materials that you can find at home. Art Starts start with prompts that inspire children to take their art any direction they desire. 

This scrape painting activity is an example of an Art Start!

The book Art Starts by Rachelle Doorley of TinkerLab is such an easy to follow book and a useful manual for parents who are looking to create more with their kids.

I love that the book offers so many different ideas using multi-media art ideas! The book includes 52 activity ideas that will prompt your child to create- with one idea per weekday all year!

Rachelle’s goal is to make it easier for parents to create with their kids using these simple prompts.

As a busy mom of four, sometimes my kids need something creative to do but all of us are tapped out of creative ideas. Art Starts is great to keep on hand for days like this when we need a little help.

Creating together is such a beautiful way for families to making meaningful connections and spend time with one another. With open-ended art time, we can all sit down and try new things and use our imaginations.

You can buy Art Starts by Rachelle Doorley here.

Rachelle’s blog (TinkerLab) is also filled with amazing ideas for kids if you need more!

Have you tried scrape painting before? Tell me about it!

I love that I now have another simple way to use up my cardboard box stash!