The Painting Machine: Process Art Meets Mechanical Engineering for Kids - My Nearest And Dearest

The Painting Machine: Process Art Meets Mechanical Engineering for Kids

A fun combination of art and engineering for kids from My Nearest and Dearest blog.

For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links.

If you follow us on Facebook than you may have seen this picture that I shared there recently:

Mechanical engineering for kids meets process art. Make a painting machine!

My son called it a painting machine and it was the result of some early morning experimentation with paint and his toy tool set. We love process art and we love tinkering. This is the perfect marriage of the two.

My son (age 3.5) is a little mechanical engineer in training. He’s always inventing and building machines. Often they work only with some creative imagining. It was gratifying for him to make a machine that actually worked!

The painting machine is simply a battery-operated toy drill with a paint brush in place of a drill bit. The paint brush is held in place with non-hardening modeling clayThe drill causes the paint brush to spin, which creates some interesting brush strokes depending on the angle of brush. The paint brush stays in place remarkably well, although a shorter brush would likely work even better.

We’ve used our painting machine a couple of times now and I have to admit that I get a huge kick out of it. It is really fun to use!

Make a painting machine! Process art meets mechanical engineering for kids.


Create interesting brush strokes and designs using a paint brush and kids' tools.



Update: Since posting this, a few readers have mentioned that paint splatter was an issue. We used a weak drill, a small amount of washable kids paint and a relatively small brush and had virtually no splatter. If you’re using a powerful drill and/or concerned about splatter you might want to try this activity outside, in a large plastic bin, or on a large piece of cardboard away from walls and furniture.

What unusual painting tools have your kids painted with? Here’s one of our all-time favourites: Squeegee Painting.

Squeegee Painting. Fun and easy process art for kids of all ages. From My Nearest and Dearest.


Thanks for reading!


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