Cotton Pad Art with liquid watercolours – a creative, fine-motor art project for toddlers, and a water absorption experiment too!
A couple of months ago, we turned our dried up markers into homemade liquid watercolours. The results were fabulous! They’re perfect for lots of the kids’ art projects we do around here!
The hooligans really like using the watercolours with pipettes. They drip the paint on an absorbent surface to create really beautiful designs and patterns. We’ve created e made some gorgeous paper towel art and coffee filter projects this way. The process is fun and it’s a great way for kids to experiment with water absorption. The droppers are great for developing fine motor skills too!
The other day, when I was cleaning out a cupboard I came across a sleeve of makeup removal pads. I thought they’d be perfect to use with our watercolours. We tried them out the other day, and the activity was a hit!
What you’ll need for your cotton pad art project:
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- cotton make up removal pads
- liquid watercolour paints (you could use food colouring and water)
- small bowls
- vinyl tablecloth (to protect your work surface)
- baking rack
Creating our cotton pad art:
I set the girls up with their watercolours and cotton pads, and they spent the next half hour or so creating all kinds of colour combinations!
Ok, I knew these things would be absorbent, but holy moly! We used all of the watercolours you see in the photos, and then some, and the cotton pads soaked up every drop of water.
And what was really neat was this: if the pad had been coloured blue, and we dripped yellow on top, the colours didn’t mix; the yellow would actually displace the blue colouring.
Here’s a shot of our soaking wet cotton pads. Aren’t they gorgeous?
To dry the pads, we set them on a baking rack beside the fireplace for a couple of hours.
This is what they looked like when they dried! I love how puffy, fluffy and colourful they are!
And now, a question for you!
I would love to use our cotton pads for some kind of project, but I’m not loving any of the ideas I’ve come up with. What do you think we should do with our colourful cotton pads?
More toddler art projects you’ll love:
wax resist art with watercolours
tape resist art
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
You should use the cotton pads to make a mobile. Take a walk find some sticks (could even paint the sticks too) and use string or yarn to tie & hang the decorated cotton pads from. You could even include older children by having them use thread and a needle to hang the pads
Colorfull fluffy catepillar would go nicely with your paper towel buterfly
How about some sweet Spring garland?
Rhine house should make a texture something maybe mobile , wall art , ect but add on to it so now you have made beautifull bubbles 😉 add some fish or kites or seed pods , or leafs ect depending on your type of season 🙂 add faces and hand prints for spring , connect for caterpillars for summer or clouds and fall leaf prints for fall possibly some crystals or sparkles for winter 🙂 the possibilities are endless !!!!! I hope this comment sparks an idea for now or to save for later 🙂
Could you use them to make Hot Air Balloon Pictures? Maybe make the wicker baskets by doing string painting on brown construction paper (like in the project below) and then mount on blue paper joining the balloons to the baskets with lengths of yarn and with tufts of cotton balls of clouds….
Read your Toddlers the book entitled “Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons”. Cut out a cat shape similar to Pete the Cat and have the children glue on his four groovy buttons
We made a flower and a caterpillar.. Turned out great!
Reminds me of Kandinsky’s circles. Would be cool to use them to make a Kandinsky style piece!
Make rainbow fish with colorful scales! Add some aluminum foil for the shiny scales. They can be hung from nylon fishing line.
I agree! My first thought was a rainbow fish!
a celing moble Tiered like a chandelier.
We are going to get some styrofoam rings, little pins and beads. Put a bead on the stick pin, push it throught center of watercolor pad and into styrofoam ring. It will be a watercolor pad flower wreath.
Great idea, Heidi!
How about placemats for the table!
If you have a bulletin board. Create a scene. Grass. Sun. Clouds. Could be a partial abstract look
I like these ideas, how about using them to make a spring time wreath! 🙂 it would be beautiful!
Great idea, Noel!