Cotton Bud Painting on Cards and Pebbles!

We spent a lovely sunny afternoon at Pampa’s house with the cousins, playing outside and doing a spot of painting. Yes, I did indeed carry three bottles of sparkly paint and a handful of cotton buds in my handbag to church in the morning. Doesn’t everyone?! 
Little Pop decided it was about time she made some thank you cards for the wonderful gifts she received for her 1st birthday (she’s very thoughtful like that 😉 so I was trying to think of something she could do that wouldn’t create too much mess  she could manage all by herself. 

 Let me at it Mum! I want to make some mess please :-)

 So she dipped some cotton buds into 3 colours of pearlised and sparkly paint (£1.99 each from The Works) and made marks on some pre-folded cards.

 She had a go at doing it two-handed (great for making left to right connections between the neurons in the brain!)

Remarkably she only tasted it once- result! She became so engrossed that every time I swapped in a new card for her to paint on she wailed because she thought I was taking them away!

 Some of the finished little works of art, glittering beautifully in the sunshine!

 And a few more!

 Then Big Sister wanted to get in on the action and we found a couple of large, flat pebbles in the garden for her to colour and paint on.

 Ta da! Ready to go into her little play garden back at home as a piece of outdoor art :-)

 And even though this is nothing to do with painting, I just had to share these photos of the joyfulness of playing outdoors together. C and her cousin B were making a very loud noise down at the bottom of the garden and when I came to investigate she said “we’re making music, look!” They had both found long sticks and were banging flower pots, an old wheelbarrow, a metal dustbin and the fence to make a range of different noises! Wonderful.

 And big cousin S thought this was pretty fun too. They found that the car roof box makes a great, booming noise! Quite a funky rhythm began to emerge and there was more than a little hip wiggling going on.

Ah, the joys of outdoor play! (I have no idea what’s happening in this picture but I love the energy in it!)

These activities are good for:

* experiencing and discovering a wide range of media for using and working on
* mark making
* fine motor control- using the pincer grip to hold cotton buds
* exploring colour mixing
* experimenting with music making
* using objects to become other (sometimes imaginary) objects in play
* investigating natural objects and their properties
* collaborative play


  1. says

    Genuine question here Anna – how do you get the stains out of the girls clothes? they never seem to wear stained clothes but there’s P in a white T having the greatest fun. I’m positive she must have got at least a little mucky. could you bottle some of your laidbackness please and pass it to me. i’ll pay you 😉

  2. says

    Hi Sarah! Well, my honest answer to that would be that I’m just not that bothered about mess. I think sometimes when big things happen in life it puts everything into perspective and makes you feel released from worrying about the little things as much. I feel so blessed to have these girls and be able to with them every day and even if they do get muddy or mucky it’s just small stuff in comparison to the carefree childhoods I want them to have :-) (And I spray with stain remover before washing too!)

  3. says

    Good for you! Katy had a blast in the garden the other day, crawling all over the place and really exploring; it was a joy to watch. i’m trying to remind myself of the sheer enjoyment she had when i look at her lovely little pink trousers now stained greyish brown on the feet and knees. i am trying!

  4. says

    Baby-made cards are the best ones around — a gift in and of themselves! I like your comment about hand-switching being good for the brain. My 7 month old is using both hands to grab her spoon at meals, and I’m always making guesses as to which hand she’ll one day settle on. But at this point it doesn’t really matter, does it. And the kids look SO happy running around, discovering treasures in the yard. What a fun day!

  5. gill barron says

    what I love about your blog is that my children are similar ages D is 28 months and A is 4 months so I am hoping to keep copying many of your ideas as my children grow x