When J received some Amazon money from one of his grandpas I knew I wanted to buy some art supplies. I bought him some Crayola Washable Kids Paint set of 10 Bottles (2 fl oz/59mL) because I knew he would get messy with it!
When it arrived we did a couple different activities with it- paintbrush free! I used the box that his laminator (from the same Amazon order) came in to put the paper in. (Yes, I said HIS laminator because I'll mostly be using it to laminate things for our "homeschool").
I taped down a sheet of paper, let him choose 3 paint colors and squirted a bit of each color on the paper. I put in a bouncy ball and a plastic golf ball for him to roll around. He was frustrated at first because he didn't know what he was supposed to do and was more interested in pouring the paint into the box (I was NOT going to let him do that because I knew he would want to dump the whole thing in). Once I showed him what to do he enjoyed rolling the balls around to make a design.
This was his first paper
After a few minutes he pointed to the pad of paper because he wanted a new sheet. I untaped the first sheet and taped a new sheet on for him to repeat the process. I didn't add any extra paint this time.
It's lighter but still cool looking
Again, he got bored after a while and wanted a new sheet. I got him a new sheet and poured some blue paint in the box. Instead if rolling the balls he picked up the bouncy ball and used it to spread the paint. He found the top to a toy machine ball and stamped with that. I wanted him to keep experimenting so I showed him a cookie cutter that was still out from the last time he played with dough. I also showed him a few plastic toys that would make cool textures.
End result of stamping
He really enjoys painting and it keeps him occupied for a long time as long as I keep giving him new sheets of "canvas".