Process Art with Q-Tips

Q-tips aren’t just for cleaning out nooks and crannies anymore! This process art activity uses the handy cotton swabs as paintbrushes. Who knew?! Grab a handful of Q-tips, pull out some paint, and get ready for some seriously fun process art! 

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Super simple art activity without paintbrushes: Toddler Process Art with Q-Tips!

Getting Ready

This process art activity only took a minute to set up. To prep, I simply grabbed:

  • a sheet of scrapbook paper,
  • a few Q-tips,
  • tempera paint in red and blue, and
  • a small cup to hold the paint.

A note on the paper: I’d been planning on using watercolor paper, but I wasn’t able to find a single sheet in our house so I grabbed the scrapbook paper we had on hand. Any paper will work but, with toddlers, I recommend using something heavier. It will stay in place better and won’t get wrinkled and torn as easily as printer or construction paper.

Process Art with Q-Tips

I set up everything on my son, N’s, highchair tray to keep the mess in one spot.

He knew what to do right away. He dipped a Q-tip into the paint and started making marks.

Super simple art activity without paintbrushes: Toddler Process Art with Q-Tips!

I loved how he made long strokes, little dots, and even wrote a “W”! I made sure to excitedly point out the letter to him!

Super simple art activity without paintbrushes: Toddler Process Art with Q-Tips!

The more he painted, the more excited he got about the paint, and the more he tried to get onto his Q-tip.

In the heat of the moment, he got paint on his fingers. He wasn’t amused. 😉

Super simple art activity without paintbrushes: Toddler Process Art with Q-Tips!

After this, I had to repeatedly wipe off his fingers with a paper towel – he wasn’t in the mood to get messy!

N experimented with pouring and dumping out the paint, but the tempera paint was too thick and I had only provided a little bit of each color.

Super simple art activity without paintbrushes: Toddler Process Art with Q-Tips!

When N was almost done with the activity, he grabbed the paper towel from me and decided to incorporate it into his art too.

Super simple art activity without paintbrushes: Toddler Process Art with Q-Tips!

I was extremely pleased with how much N enjoyed this super simple art idea, and I didn’t mind that it ended up being a lot less messy than I’d expected!

I did have to keep the paint cup from falling a few times and moved it from one side of the tray to the other, but that’s just because N was working on such a small surface.

Super simple art activity without paintbrushes: Toddler Process Art with Q-Tips!

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1 Comment

  1. Rachel

    This looks like it would be a really fun activity for toddlers, as well as young kids. I might have to try this with my nephew. Thanks for sharing the idea!

    Reply

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Hi, I’m Malia.

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