Let me start by saying how much I LOVE Crayola's Color Wonder line! This was the only thing I would buy for a long time. The one time I let my son have a real crayon, I was in the bathroom for less than 30 seconds and he colored all over the wall. However, one day at therapy they did "dot painting" and he loved it so much that I caved, and bought some.
What is dot painting, and why is there no mess? Well...dot painting involves using bingo markers! They are a dime a dozen around this casino-filled city, but you can also find them at Dollar Tree.
|From a casino vending machine|
If you want to go cheaper and with more color options...
I have a good amount of colors, and my son just loves to dot all over paper with them. My friend's girls love to "draw paint" which I'm sure you can guess means they use these as markers, but get the effect of paint.
One note about the dot painters- they ARE filled with paint, and yes, it soaks through the paper sometimes, especially if a toddler gets into a creative headspace and starts trashing and slamming and squeezing onto the paper. How do you deal with that? Well, you could buy a fitted vinyl tablecloth, which is currently in my Amazon shopping cart. Or, you could swipe over the table with a wet paper towel and then lay down some wax paper! The moisture keeps the paper in place, and the paper stops any paint from seeping through to the table.