Toddler Time at Home: Earth Energy Painting

Engage in a sensory art-making experience by creating a painting of the earth in this ScholarShare 529 Toddler Time at Home activity! In celebration of Earth Day, this project focuses on sustainability and caring for our planet. Recycle and reuse objects by transforming them into tools for art making. Explore texture and movement with your little one while spreading caring energy to the earth!


Earth Energy Painting Tutorial

AGE: 2+ years (with adult support)

TIME FRAME: 30 min


  • Circle canvas (carboard or a paper plate)
  • Smearing sheet (plastic or Ziploc bag)
  • Earth-toned Tempera paint colors
  • Protective layer or drop cloth (if needed)


1. Mix colors. Prep your art space and gather all materials. Then Choose 2-3 paint colors that represent the earth. Explore with color mixing for cause and effect!

2. Prep circle canvas. Use a paper plate or cut a circle out of cardboard to create your circle canvas. Then encourage your child to squeeze, trail or dollop the paint selected in step 1
onto the circle canvas. The paint does not have to touch each other as your child will eventually spread and blend the colors together.

3. Set up smear tool. Now that the paint has been dolloped onto the circle canvas, place the canvas carefully into a plastic or Ziploc bag and zip it closed. If you are using a plastic sheet you can gently place it over the canvas. The Ziploc bag can be used as a smearing tool. You can reuse and wash the bag as needed and utilize this art tool in future art-making experiences.

4. Smear the paint. Have your child use the palms of their hands to spread and smear the paint in the plastic bag. Ask open-ended questions to engage in conversation and language development. This encourages your child to care for the earth with gentle touches and caring energy!

5. Display your earth art! Before your Earth Energy Painting turns into one color, you can pause and look at all the colors and effects. Open or lift the smearing tool and place your art to dry for display later!

TIP: Make time for conversation. Whether through a song, story or book, talk about ways to care for our earth. Ask your child questions about their own ideas of how they can take care of the earth. Create your own family traditions of sustainability!

Toddler To Transitional Kindergarten Learning Connections

Sensory art-making experiences are great ways to weave science and creative expression. An array of developmental possibilities include fine motor, empathy, language and literacy.

Recommended Related Reading (Ages 2-5):

  • The Earth Book by Todd Parr
  • Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner
  • The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
  • Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
  • Don’t Throw That Away by Lara Bergen

Preschool Learning Foundations (Social Emotional Learning and Visual Arts)
48 months:

  • Demonstrate concern for the needs of others and people in distress.
  • Begin to use intensity of marks and color to express a feeling or mood.

60 months:

  • Respond to another’s distress and needs with sympathetic caring and are more likely to assist.
  • Use intensity of marks and color more frequently to express a feeling or mood.
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Museum Open Memorial Day 5/27

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