Rainbow Art with Cotton Balls
We always enjoy a good, simple art activity around here!
I actually had these cotton balls earmarked for something else, and I wanted to dye them in rainbow colors. That turned out to be a little tricky, and while I was experimenting with cotton balls and liquid watercolors, I got the thought into my head that E would enjoy using the cotton balls as a canvas.
I quickly set her up with a few simple materials, and she got to work!
(E was 4 years and 4 months old.)
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Materials for Rainbow Art with Cotton Balls
- Cotton balls.
- Liquid watercolors.
- Eye dropper.
- Water (optional).
- Small cups or bowls for the watercolors.
- Baking dish, cookie sheet or tray to work on.
The first thing I realized was that we’d never done anything in rainbow colors. NEVER! I found it hard to believe, and I really think it was high time to fix that!
Together, we put a few squirts of watercolor into each applesauce cup and added some water.
I have to admit got a kick out of just looking at the cups with liquid watercolors.
I’m not entirely sure that E was similarly impressed – she couldn’t wait to put the cotton balls into the baking dish 🙂
When she had a good puffy layer, she got started with the red watercolors.
She actually used each color in turn from left to right, going in rainbow order.
Then, she started using random colors and accidentally mixed two of them. She knows about color mixing, of course, but for some reason, she found it hilarious this time.
She went ahead and mixed a few more colors – she did her best to make red more orange and purple more blue.
Since the watercolors were still pretty intense, even though I had diluted them with water, it really didn’t work as well as she’d hoped. She decided to go back to painting instead.
She experimented with shaking the eye dropper around while dropping the watercolors – I was impressed that most still ended up on the cotton balls, and we just had to wipe up a few stray drops of watercolor off the table in the end 😉
Absolutely lovely process art – but I keep thinking we could use the cotton balls for something else once they’re dry…
Have you tried making rainbow art? What have you used cotton balls for? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
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This looks fun! Were the cottonballs wet enough at the end to be able to do a “print” with paper as well? That would be a fun addition to this project if so! Definitely will have to try this one out, either way!
Thank you, Shannon! No, the cotton balls didn’t get that wet for us. You’d need quite a lot of watercolors to get it to that point, I think. Cool idea, though, we may just try that in the future 🙂
I think It would look cool to take the cotton balls and glue them on paper to make a picture. They are too pretty to just throw away.
I agree, they’re so pretty! Thanks, Andrea!
What about baking them when you’ve finished painting? Have you ever done cotton ball pounding? http://www.makingboysmen.com/2012/04/bashing-baked-cotton-balls-goggles.html
Oh yes, I’ve seen that before but never tried it! Thanks for the inspiration, Donna!
This looks like fun!
Thank you, Swapna!
I’m going to do this with 4 year olds tomorrow. When they finish I’m going to try having them press a piece of paper on top of it to make a print!
Hi Jennifer, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!
That’s a great idea for extending the activity! Let me know how it goes 🙂
Stay safe and have a great day,