Yesterday I received the first official “I’m booored!” of summer. (Frankly, I’m surprised it took 2 weeks!) Of course it was from my oldest, who is almost always bored when no one is attending to him. I gave him my old digital camera and sent him outside to photograph the elusive albino squirrel known to breakfast on cracked corn at our bird feeder every morning. My other child can happily entertain himself for hours on end. In fact, not once in his 4-years of life has he ever proclaimed boredom. Isn’t it funny how two children, raised almost identically, can be entirely different?

Well, my aspiring photographer apparently needs to work on his stealth and shutter speed. He came back 5-minutes later and admitted defeat, “The white squirrel is in the tree hiding. I did not get a picture of it.” Then he informed me, once again, that he was bored. I told him that boredom was an “opportunity for adventure” and that I was sure he would think of something to do and if not, he was welcome to fold laundry. He asked for my iPhone. I passed him a basket of socks.

The morning went on and on like this, but eventually, my kiddo found markers and a coloring book and settled quietly in the family room. Later that afternoon while the boys were eating lunch, I slipped out the side door to arrange an art activity on the lawn.

Squirt Gun Painting | Fireflies and Mud Pies

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Squirt Gun Painting | Fireflies and Mud Pies

Squirt Gun Painting is a classic summer art activity for kids. For our artwork,  we used Nerf Super Soaker Alphafire Blasters. I like to avoid the super cheap multi-pack squirt guns typically found in dollar stores because they seem to end up breaking within hours. The Alphafires are still inexpensive, but have the quality one can expect from Nerf products. I arranged our easel in the yard and clipped two sheets of watercolor paper to each side. I invited the boys to fill their squirt guns with liquid watercolors and let them go to town!

They had a lot of fun, but needed several reminders not to squirt each other!

Squirt Gun Painting in Summer | Fireflies and Mud Pies

Each painting was bright, unique, and beautiful!

Squirt Gun Painting Art Activity | Fireflies and Mud Pies

Afterwards, the boys ran through the sprinkler to clean off!

More Summer Art Activities

Summer vacation is a great time to get crafty with your kiddos! Listed below are some of my favorites from around the web.

Fine Motor Octopus Buggy and Buddy
This super cute craft will have your little one smiling and practicing important fine motor skills!

Soap Foam Printing | Fireflies and Mud Pies
Whip up some colorful foam and create vibrant, textured art prints!

Summer Art Collage My Nearest and Dearest
The perfect summer playdate craft!

Summer Art for Kids – Colorful Shell Sculpture Fun-A-Day
Sensory play and art meet in this bright, exciting art project!

What’s your favorite way to paint outside? Stop by the Fireflies and Mud Pies Facebook Page to share!

Stay connected with Moms from around the world who are just like you!
Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter

Melissa Lennig on sabtwitterMelissa Lennig on sabpinterestMelissa Lennig on sabinstagramMelissa Lennig on sabgoogleMelissa Lennig on sabfacebook
Melissa Lennig
Melissa is a photographer, writer, educator, and mother to two boys. She shares her passions for nature, crafts, and family on her blog, Fireflies and Mud Pies. Her work has been featured on hundreds of websites, including,, Bon Bon Break, Red Tricycle, Craft Gawker, The Crafty Crow, and All Free Kids Crafts.

Stay up to date with Fireflies and Mud Pies through social media, or by subscribing to our free newsletter.

55 comments on “Squirt Gun Painting

  1. Pingback: summer plans | baby blue bunnies

  2. Pingback: File it Friday: Recycled Can Cutlery Holder + More | How to Have it All

  3. Pingback: 100 Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer! | Mom Spark - A Trendy Blog for Moms - Mom Blogger

  4. kristen

    I love this idea! Where do I find liquid watercolors?


  5. Terri

    So much fun! I did this years ago with my son and his friends, only we used fabric paint. One this we did that was fun is cut out shapes and letters out of freezer paper and ironed it on first. iron shiny side down. squirt away and when dry peel off the paper…voila!

  6. Pingback: Activities for Boys: 50+ Awesome Ideas for Unplugged Play | The Super Mommy Club - Curated

  7. Carleen Radanovich

    This would be great for those who would like to paint but have no talent & for people like myself who have a disease that makes it hard to hold pens,pencils, etc still. (I have MS). Can’t wait to try!

  8. Jen Warner

    I put my dried markers in plastic jars of water and they make great liquid water colors. It’s recycling at it’s best :) I don’t know if they would work for everything that you use liquid water colors for, but I often use it as a substitute in my preschool class. It’s a great substitute for food coloring too.

    1. Gerri

      Can I do this with watered down acrylic paints? I have a gazillion of them in different stages of drying out.

  9. Pingback: Squirt Gun Painting - Lil Moo Creations

  10. Pingback: 15 Fun Summer Activities for Kids - Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke

  11. Pingback: 20 Awesome Backyard Ideas For The Kids » The Pinterested Parent

  12. Pingback: 15 super fun summertime kid activities and ideas.....! - Jennifer Rizzo

  13. Pingback: 20 Easy Summer Crafts for Kids

  14. Pingback: Soap Foam Printing - Fireflies and Mud Pies

  15. Pingback: Squirt Gun Painting – Activity | Utah Idaho Supply / Map World

  16. Pingback: 20 Fun Summer Activities for Kids | Stretching a Buck

  17. Sheri A. Ross

    Do you have a recipe for making Liquid Watercolor paints? I am organizing a fundraiser for Autism Art programs, and we would love to include the Squirt Gun painting project for this event….so making the paints is our best economical way to achieve that.
    Appreciate any advice you may have,

  18. Pingback: Camp Crafts for Kids - Metro Parent

  19. Pingback: {Water Week} - Living In This Season

  20. Pingback: DIY Summer Fun Ideas for Kids

  21. Pingback: 41 Inexpensive Summer Fun Ideas - Kidoodle.TV

  22. Pingback: Squirt Gun Painting | Hopscotch Newsletter

  23. Pingback: 20 summer art projects for preschoolers

  24. meg

    do you dilute the liquid watercolor, or use straight from the bottle?

  25. Pingback: 13 outdoor activities to do with your kids this summer - Gift of Curiosity

  26. bjm

    Can I use fluorescent tempera paint? I have some extra laying around.

    1. Fireflies and Mud Pies Post author

      Likely, it will be too thick on it’s own. I would water it down so it’s thin and similar to the consistency of liquid watercolors.

  27. Pingback: 10 Summer Crafts for Kids

  28. Kristin

    This is such a great idea and it turned out SO cute! Want to try it with les kiddos!

  29. Pingback: Try These 20 Wacky Ways to Paint with Kids!

  30. Abel

    could this be used in a colored water gun fight?Trying to replicate the game splatoon for a birthday party.Is it hard to get off skin?

  31. Pingback: Fun Art: Squirt Gun Painting With Kids • DIY All in One

  32. Pingback: 13 Ideas For Your End of The Summer Camping Trip | MindWare Blog – Brainy Toys for Kids of All Ages

  33. Pingback: Crafts for Littles 23 | Kate Is Rising

  34. Pingback: Arts and Crafts for Kids - Best Ideas & Activities 2015YouPaint

  35. Pingback: 20 Epic Outside Messy Play Ideas - Lemon Lime Adventures

  36. Pingback: 23 Wildly Colorful Crafts To Do With Your Kids | SaltyPepper

  37. Pingback: Colorful Fun Crafts To Do With Your Kids | WORLD Warotter

  38. Pingback: 23 Wildly Colorful Crafts To Do With Your Kids | CNN LIFEHACKS 2015

  39. Pingback: Weekend Recap + DIY Art with Squirt Guns | treasured inspiration

  40. Pingback: 25 Camping Crafts for Kids

Leave a reply


CommentLuv badge