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Cotton Pad Art Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Cotton Pad Art with Liquid Watercolours
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:

supplies for cotton pad art project

supplies for cotton pad art project

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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!colouring cotton pads with liquid watercolours

colouring cotton pads with liquid watercolours

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.

Dripping watercolours onto cotton padsDripping watercolours onto cotton pads

Here’s  a shot of our soaking wet cotton pads.  Aren’t they gorgeous?

Coloured Cotton Pads for Toddler art project Coloured Cotton Pads for Toddler art project

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!

cotton pads dyed with liquid watercolours cotton pads dyed with liquid watercolours

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

glue salt and watercolour art

toddler colour wheel

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.