Simple Q-Tip Painting for Kids (2024)

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1 Feb

Art ProjectsPreschoolersPainting10 Comments

Have you ever let your kids paint with Q-tips?

Letting them paint with objects that are out of the norm is quite fun for kids to do! They kind of think they’re breaking the rules. And its a fun way to get kids that aren’t normally interested in art projects to have an interest. At least that’s my trick for my boys that aren’t always into it.

This is an oldie activity we did last year that I want to share. Its a simple idea and all about the process of trying something in a new way.

I set out several different colors of paint. I love Crayola Washable Paints(affiliate link) the best for kid art projects. They wash up easily (and out of everything I’ve ever had to wash them out of).

I also set out several Q-tips. Lots and lots of them. Because I didn’t want George to use the same Q-tip in different paints.

Simple Q-Tip Painting for Kids (1)

For some reason or another I didn’t dump out the paints. I’m not sure why looking back. It seems like a rookie mistake. Because paints did inevitable get mixed.

I always use a cheap sheet pan or this egg holder is a perfect paint palette.

Setting out the supplies along with a piece of paper or two was all I did to take part in this activity.

How George used the Q-tips was totally up to him.

Simple Q-Tip Painting for Kids (2)

I expected dots. A stipple effect.

But George had rolling in mind and that’s what he did.

Simple Q-Tip Painting for Kids (3)

He rolled the paint on the paper and mixed the colors.

Simple Q-Tip Painting for Kids (4)

Not exactly what I had in mind, but that’s why this is about the process and not about any sort of end product.

He explored a new way to paint and found his own ways to do it.

Simple Q-Tip Painting for Kids (5)

And in all honestly, I absolutely loved the finished product! Its gorgeous with so much texture!

Simple Q-Tip Painting for Kids (6)

Other ways to paint without a paintbrush:

  • Try sponge painting a rainbow
  • Paint with trucks and other toys
  • Paint with kitchen utensils


About Jamie Reimer

Jamie learned to be a hands on mom by creating activities, crafts and art projects for her three boys to do. Jamie needed the creative outlet that activities provided to get through the early years of parenting with a smile! Follow Jamie on Pinterest and Instagram!

More Hands on Kids Activities to Try

  • 10 Creative Art Activities for Preschoolers
  • Easy Easter Egg Splatter Painting Activity for Kids
  • Easy Homemade Window Paint Recipe
  • Big Art Project for Toddlers: Ribbon Painting

Reader Interactions


  1. Korin Harms says

    This activity was great for my 3 year old triplets and 5 year old to do! We also read the story Mouse Paint, talked about primary and secondary colors, the rainbow, and painted the letters we had be working on (i & j). Simple, fun, and quick (for me to get ready). We painted for about 15 minutes. Thank you so much for the inspiration and motivation to take time to do these activities with my children. These activities allow me to learn about my childrens’ different personalities as well as express their own thoughts, ideas, and knowledge.

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    • Rachel says

      You are so welcome! So glad they are working for you!

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  2. Marilyn Groneng says

    Q-tips-a simple activity! What makes it amazing to me is “I expected dots” and our children take it in a totally different direction! Their thinking is much deeper than they are able to verbally express and everything tends to be a sensory experience as well. Thank you so much for planning this challenge for us!

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  3. Multicraftingmummy says

    The best part of doing arts and crafts for me is seeing where the kids take the ativity themselves. It s so good for their confidence and a great work out for ther growing imaginations. #tuesdaytutorials

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  4. Anna says

    He completely used the q tips in a different way! What an incredible show of lateral thinking and problem solving to get more paint and a different texture! I think the end product is definitely frame worthy. As a stay-at-home-artist I am seriously impressed with his composition and his really good use of colours!

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    • Jamie Reimer says

      :) Thank you so much Anna!

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Simple Q-Tip Painting for Kids (2024)
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