Face Painting: Creativity, Self Expression and Trust

face painting, self expression, ways for children to express themselves, creativity and children,

Last October, we threw our first Halloween party. I was pretty excited about having a theme to work with; decorating, dressing up and painting faces. After turning Kahlei into a jack-o-lantern with my best face painting abilities, it was Ellie’s turn but she was skeptical. While she had happily sat to have her face painted at numerous events, she wasn’t so sure of my skill in the area and wanted to do mine, instead.

I made a deal that she could do mine if I could paint hers afterwards and before I knew it I had two little people painting my face with much gusto and excitement. At some point I had a moment of “oh, am I crazy, letting my children paint my face?!” before I relaxed and let it be.

Since then we have had many face painting days and my role has diminished to obliging paintee as they paint each other and then both have a go at me. I have watched them both develop their control with the brushes and sponges. I have seen them incorporate role play and model behaviours they’ve seen when having their faces painted else where and also when having their hair cut. I have noticed the subtle changes in their paintings as they explore and refine their skill. And, mostly, I have seen a special trust develop between the two.

During our most recent session I got thinking about how it was more than merely a bit of fun. Other than to remind them to avoid the eyes, I give them free reign. I show them I trust them, not only by allowing them to explore but by allowing them to explore on me. I am a happy participant and they love that.

It’s a great girl bonding time, chatting and laughing as they develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination. And, I’ve found it’s a perfect pick-me-up on those days when everyone’s a little on the grumpy side.

Back in October, I didn’t realise that saying yes would actually be such an amazing thing. So simple, a little messy, yet so enriching. I highly recommend giving your child the opportunity to paint your face, to explore their creativity in a new way, express themselves through that creativity and learn to trust and that you also trust them.

Here’s a video I’ve put together which might better say what I mean…

(Please excuse the freeze frame…)


  1. Oh Wow!! How much fun did your daughters have!!! Awesome!!! Where did u get all the makeup from? I tried face painting with my daughter once.. at a fairground – and she got as far as a dot on her face and she was done.. hehe

    Love the video – it really show their enthusiasm! The music fitted perfectly!!!

    Oh and you totally rock the full body paint look!!! 🙂


    • They have so much fun when I get the face paint out. We got the set from my MIL, which she probably bought at the Post Office.
      Your daughter might come around. I was never really into it as a child and look at me now!
      And thank you, I think the full body paint look works for me. It’s a whole new way to make a statement!

  2. aww your such an Awesome mummy!
    My kiddies would have a blast painting me, but that’s not going to be happening anytime soon lol. xx
    Such a fun mum!!

    • Haha, thanks Jane. Maybe you’ll have to bring Jaxen here and let him loose on me 😉

  3. You all look beautiful!!! So cute 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment, Cassandra!

  4. What a great activity – looks like a blast! Would love to have photos of you out and about like that – ha ha!
    Excellent activity for fine motor control, colour recognition and matching and like you said, many social and trust aspects too.

    Putting that activity in my trunk – thanks!!!


    • Not sure if I’m ready to go out like this yet. Although, I HAVE answered the door to a poor, confused delivery man!

  5. So much fun! My daughter has been known to paint her own face with her textas when my back it turned for even a second… might have to try out the face paint instead!

    • I had a texta disaster recently, when my eldest decided to put ‘eyeshadow’ on. It didn’t come off properly for days!
      I highly recommend the use of face paint!

  6. Oh that is so much fun and so amazing. I need to get facepainting stuff- only have paints that aint suitable :(.

    • I’ve seen some paints at the Post Office – Colorific brand. I hope you find some!

  7. Oh this is such a good idea; I love it! I know my kids would have an absolute ball if we did this.
    Might have to get face paints as birthday gifts. 🙂

    • I love to let them loose. It’s so amazing what they do with that freedom but, even more so, what they get from it!

  8. What a great idea! I never thought of doing this before but I think it would be a great bonding experience.

    • Thanks for the comment, Veronica. It really is a great way to bond and build on a relationship and so fun!

  9. That video is just precious. I’m going to have to video Miss Possum now. Thanks for sharing it with me.

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