Right on cue with “back to school”, we were hit by a nasty stomach bug last week. After a nice weekend of rest and recuperation we are finally back up and running and boy does it feel good! Since we didn’t even touch our Five Senses lesson plan last week, we are going to pick up right were we left off, jumping into that this week! To hold you over in the mean time, I have this great Cotton Ball Painting Three Ways activity to share with you!
This is such a great art project because it combines creative art and fine control to make mastering skills fun! The best part is that you can easily adapt this activity to fit a wide range of ages and skill sets. Today I am showing you 3 ways to paint with cotton balls for a mixed age group.
Painting With Cotton Balls – Pincer Grasp
This first adaptation is the easiest and perfect for you older infant or young toddler working on developing his/her pincer grasp. For this activity all you need is a cotton ball and baby safe paint. With younger children, I often find that paper just gets in the way and often let them paint right on their high chair tray or other washable surface. If having a final product is important, securing the paper with masking tape also works great! Place the cotton ball and small dish of paint in front of your child and demonstrate how to pick up the cotton ball, dip it in the paint, and dab it on the paper. Cotton balls are choking hazards so close supervision is required!
Painting With Cotton Balls – Clothes Pin Drop
This second adaptation of cotton ball painting is great for older toddlers and preschoolers building finger strength. Strengthening hand and finger muscles is important for developing the coordination required for writing later on. To do this activity you will need a cotton ball, a clothes pin, paint and paper. Set the materials in front of your child and demonstrate how to squeeze the clothes pin to pick up the cotton ball, dip in the paint, and drop it on the paper. Encourage your child to repeat the process over and over to get in a good hand work out.
Painting With Cotton Balls - Tweezer Squeeze
The last adaptation of this activity requires the greatest coordination and hand strength. It is fantastic for older preschoolers and young school age children who are mastering control of a pencil. Using tweezers reinforces a proper pencil grip and strengthens hand muscles through the squeezing motion. For this activity you will need a cotton ball, tweezers (any size will work, but larger tweezers designed for little hands will be easiest for younger children), paint and paper. Set the materials out and explain/demonstrate how to squeeze the tweezers to pick up the cotton ball, dip it, and paint on the paper. For fun, you can make it a game to see how long they can keep the cotton ball in the tweezers before letting go to test their hand strength!
That’s all for now. Stay tuned to see our Five Senses lesson plan in action later this week!