School Bus Art Project for Toddlers & Preschoolers

School Bus Art Project for Toddlers & Preschoolers
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I admit that I tend to be unfairly biased toward girls when I create kids’ printables and crafts for this blog.

I don’t do it on purpose, but I’m guessing that it’s for 3 reasons:

  1. I used to be a girl and “girl things” appeal to me more
  2. I have 2 girls and only one boy
  3. In my personal experience, little boys don’t enjoy things like painting and coloring and cutting as much as little girls do.

This activity, however, is something that little boys will totally go to town on. (Girls will like it too.)

When my son was a toddler and in preschool, he was totally fascinated with vehicles of all kinds. (I think his very favorite were construction vehicles.)


Back then I never would have thought of using a bus as a painting tool, but I think it’s a great idea!

So if you know someone, boy or girl, who loves making vehicles go, they will love this art project.

Some Tips About This Painting Activity

  1. This is a very messy activity, so you need to put some thought into what time and place works best for you to do it. This is not an activity to throw together 15 minutes before you have to leave the house. the best time and place for it
  2. Consider doing this activity outside with your kid wearing a bathing suit, and then hose them down when they’re finished.
  3. If you can’t — or don’t want to — do this outside, then consider having your kid paint in the nude, or wearing just their underwear. Why not?
  4. We used a school bus because we had one handy and it gave it a fun “Back to School” theme, but don’t feel like you have to run out and buy a school bus just to do this activity. You can use one or more or whatever vehicles you already have, whether they’re toy cars, fire trucks, dump trucks, ambulances, etc.
  5. Do, however, make sure that you use a battery-free vehicle, since it’s going to get very messy and wet.


School Bus Painting Activity Supplies

  • Toy School bus
  • Washable paint (we used red, green, yellow, and blue)
  • Paper plate
  • Poster board
  • Pre-filled Container with soapy water (for washing)
  • Toothbrush (for washing)
  • Optional: paper towel, hand towel for drying
  • Painting Smock (optional)


Painting Activity Directions

  1. Set up a large piece of poster board or butcher paper. I highly recommend taping it to the floor, wall, or table so that it stays put.

  3. Pour desired amount of washable paint onto the paper plate.

    School bus and blobs of paint


  5. Roll the school bus wheels into the paint.

    Rolling School Bus in paint


    Rolling bus through paint


  7. Roll the bus around on the poster board to create paint tracks from the bus.

    Rolling paint on poster board with school bus


    Painting with school bus


    School bus on plate of paint


  9. When you’re finished, wash the bus in the soapy water using the toothbrush. (This is a fun activity in itself, and I wouldn’t be surprised if your kiddo spends as much time on this as they do on the painting part.

    Scrubbing school bus


    Washing paint of school bus


  11. Set the painting aside to dry when finished — and now you’ve got a unique painting!

    School Bus art project for preschoolers


    Finished school bus craft


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