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