Upside Down Art

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to use hands and fingers to explore and interact with the environment.

Materials Needed:

  • Washable, non-toxic finger paint, tempera paint, or corn syrup colored with food coloring
  • Paper
  • Paintbrushes or cotton swabs
  • Tape

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction.


  1. Tape the paper to a surface not normally used for art, such as a fence, the underside of a table, or the ground.
  2. Show your child how to paint on these unusual surfaces. Do the paintings seem different?

Learn More: Painting on a variety of angled surfaces is engaging because it’s different, but it also encourages children to approach their work in a new way. Painting on a vertical surface such as a fence or wall builds children’s fine motor muscles too.

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands