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Pretend Play Nail Salon

Pretend Play Nail Salon

Does your child want to paint her nails or yours? Set up a pretend play nail salon in just a few simple steps for some mess-free imaginative play. 


Trace your child’s hand on a piece of cardboard. 



Gather a variety of paint colors. You can use acrylic paint, washable paint, or even real nail polish for a more life like nail salon experience. 


Draw nails on the hand outlines.

Add a few squares on the side for paint.

Put a nickel sized dot of paint in each square.

A watercolor brush worked for us because it is thin, but any paint brush you have on hand will work. 



And that’s it! Open the pretend nail salon and get to work. This activity is so much fun for little girls and boys!

When you have painted all of the nails, let them dry and then use markers to add nail art such as polka dots, lines, or flowers. 

Ready for REAL Nail Polish?

Older kids may be ready to try to paint their own nails. A great way to let them try this out is to sit on an old towel or plastic shower curtain liner OUTSIDE. From our experience, nail polish can spill or get on clothes so outside was the way to go for my peace of mind. It’s also hard to wait for the nails to dry so use fast drying polish and explain to your child that waiting for the polish to dry is part of the experience. Have nail polish remover handy if they want to start over or are ready to come inside.  



Let us know if you try this pretend play nail salon activity!