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Painting with fruit and veg #31daysofactivities

We have a fun painting activity today from Lyndsey of the site Me, him, the dog, and a baby. This post is a fun way to get your kids into painting but with a twist. Find out how to paint using fruit and veg. If you like this post, make sure to also look at the rest of the posts in our #31daysofactivities series.

It’s no secret that even from a young age, children love to play with paints. This can be anything from messy play as a toddler to creating a masterpiece in nursery or school. If you’re looking to do painting at home though children might find that they tend to do the same thing over and over again.

Doing something creative at home means that you have access to all kinds of great tools to use with your children. Something you may not have thought about before is using fruit and veg to paint with, instead of traditional paint brushes and rollers.

Fruit and veg is something most of us will always have at home and there can be so many different things to use. You might grow your own in your garden, you might have some bits left over from a Sunday roast or you might want to go out and buy a selection especially for this activity.

What you’ll need:

  • A selection of fruits and vegetables,
  • Poster paints and plates/ trays to put it on,
  • Large pieces of paper or card, and,
  • Paintbrushes.

Preparing the fruit and vegetables

When you’re doing an activity such as this with small children it might be an idea to get the fruit and vegetables prepared in advance, so to keep sharp knives out of the way and also, to stop children asking ‘is it ready yet?’ a million times.

Once you have collected together your selection of fruit and vegetables you will need to prepare them ready for painting. Some fruit and veg have really interesting shapes once they have been cut, such as by cutting a mushroom in half. Other items need simple preparation such as cutting up a big piece of broccoli into small pieces.

Here are some ideas for fruits and vegetables which will make really good tools for painting, and ways that you can cut them:


  • Strawberries – cut off the tops & cut long ways down the middle
  • Grapes – in half either way
  • Avocado – cut in half taking out the stone and you’re left with a cool shape with a big hole in the middle
  • Oranges – in half
  • Limes – in half
  • Lemons – in half
  • Apples – in half or into quarters
  • Pears – in half or into quarters


  • Peppers – cut off the top and remove the seeds. You can use the top on it’s own to paint with. Then, either use the whole pepper with a fun shape at the end, or slice to make long, thin pieces
  • Broccoli florets – Keep the stalk quite long to use as a handle
  • Cauliflower florets – Cut into small to medium size pieces
  • Carrots – Cut into circles then create your own shapes such as stars or love hearts. Cut length ways to create long rectangles.
  • Mushrooms – in half
  • Potatoes – in half. You can also carve out shapes if you wish
  • Brussel sprouts – in half and/ or use the leaves to paint with

Get creative!

Once you have your fruit and vegetables sorted also sure you will want to prepare the area where you want to paint. A wipeable tablecloth is a great idea in case there are any spills or splashes and old clothes are an absolute must. If you have one, an apron will help to protect clothes, depending on how messy you think your children will get.

Next, you’ll need paints. Your average poster paints will work really well for this activity and they’re generally something a lot of parents will already have at home. Large pieces of paper or card will be ideal, compared with smaller A4 pieces, just so children have lots of space to see what they can do with the fruits and vegetables. It is also a good idea to keep a few paintbrushes to hand if you have them for things such as mixing colours etc.

Ideas of what to paint

The age of your child might determine what kind of painting you end up doing. However, here are a few different ideas for you to think about:

Test the shapes:

This is a great idea to help children figure out what kinds of patterns and textures the food will make. Children can dip each item into the paint and try to cover as much as possible or they can use paint brushes to cover their edge of choice!

Create a rainbow:

using as many different kinds of food as possible, children can create a rainbow using the appropriate colours (or any they like really). Try using the same type of food in different colours and see what the outcome is.

Paint a picture

The great thing about painting is that you really can create anything. Pictured you’ll find a picture of a desert island, complete with erupting volcano and palm trees as a garden. Ask your children to see what different things they can create with the shapes of the food.

Check out these fun painting and art ideas from the site.

Painting and art ideas on KiddyCharts

Here are some more ideas for painting, and a bit of Messy play too.

There’s more great ideas on the web too, so take a look.

Painting ideas for toddlers on the internet

Some other fabulous ideas to get painting and having fun with your toddlers or nursery classes.

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