Want a simple and easy to set up art activity that kids will be excited about? You need to try cotton ball splat painting!
There are so many cool ways to paint (in fact, here are 15 of our favorite ways to paint), but cotton ball splat painting might be my absolute favorite.
I mean... what's not to like?
- Fly swatters (a unique tool most kids have never painted with)
- Cotton balls (a tool that is cheap and easy to find)
- Super awesome colorful creations!
You might also see some flying paint!
Want to see cotton ball splat painting in action?
Watch the short instruction video below or scroll down for more details!
RELATED: Want more easy to set up activities? Check out our Year of Play ebook for 12 months of art, science, sensory, and play ideas for toddlers and preschoolers.
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What do you need for cotton ball splat painting?
- Cotton balls
- Fly swatters
- Washable paint
- Cup (we love these paint cups)
- Pipette or eye dropper
RELATED: Love doing art activities? Check out these 65+ amazing toddler art activities.
How do you do cotton ball splat painting?
This simple painting activity is quick to set up and packs a punch!
Splat painting is a type of action art.
Action art is where kids engage in art techniques that engage their bodies, get them moving, and spark their creativity!
Here are some other types of action art we've done!
- and more!
RELATED: Find more awesome art ideas as part of our Famous Artists Activities for Kids series.
Instructions for Cotton Ball Splat Painting
- Put some washable paint into a cup.
- Add some water to make the paint thin and easy to squeeze out of a pipette.
- Cover your table with a roll of paper or newsletter.
- Place a few cotton balls onto the paper.
- Drip washable paint onto the cotton balls using the pipette.
- Smack the cotton balls with a fly swatter and watch what happens!
Things to ask kids before/during/after they create!
Here are just a few question prompts to use during your art experience. Pick one or one from each section.
- What do you think will happen when I hit the cotton balls?
- What will happen if I put a small amount of paint?
- What will happen if I put a lot of paint onto the cotton ball?
- What do you think will happen to the colors of paint?
- What happens if you hit the cotton ball fast?
- What happens if you hit the cotton ball more slowly?
- What happens to the colors when you hit the cotton ball?
- How could you change the colors when you hit the cotton ball?
- What is your favorite part of your creation?
- What other tools could you paint with?
- Did you like hitting the cotton balls fast or slow?
- If you did this again, what would you do differently/the same
Where Should You Do Cotton Ball Splat Painting?
If you don't love messes, do this activity outside or in the garage... or just put down paint tarps on the floor or table.
This is a messy activity. Paint will fly!
Use washable paint and have your kids wear clothes that are ok to get a little dirty (or strip them down like I do)!
Why is painting good for kids?
"Painting is a way for children to do many important things: convey ideas, express emotion, use their senses, explore color, explore process and outcomes, and create aesthetically pleasing works and experiences." - Penn State University
If you try this, let me know how it goes!