Summer Boredom Busters – Cotton Ball Painting

summer boredom busters

I’m a little late with this post since it was a whirlwind weekend.  I can’t believe how fast time has gone but last Friday J turned 2!  It was so much fun celebrating him these past few days, especially since he totally understood that it was all about him.  Personally, I think birthdays should be a big deal and I try to make each one extra special (not just for the kids!).

This week for our Summer Boredom Buster activity, we made cotton ball paintings.  It was a quick set up and tons of fun, even I got in on the painting action.  I tried to incorporate all the colors of the rainbow so it served as a great way to teach J the colors also.  The final result is some really pretty paintings that resemble fireworks.  The kids loved throwing the cotton balls full of paint around too!


To set it up, you will need:

  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Washable paint
  • Cups
  • Water
  • Cotton balls


I took two large pieces of white paper and taped them to our driveway side by side.  I don’t know how your kids are, but giving M and J their own paper to work with saved us a lot of arguing over sharing one paper.  About two feet behind the paper I set up a row of cups, each containing washable paint mixed with water and two bowls filled with cotton balls.

To paint, they soaked the cotton ball in a paint cup and threw it at the paper on the ground.  If the cotton ball has a lot of paint on it, it could be thrown multiple times before you need a new one.  We were all pretty impressed with the design it created.  The kids also had fun experimenting different ways to paint using the cotton balls – besides just throwing them at the paper, J used them like you would a paint brush and M tried combining colors and using multiple cotton balls at once.


When they were finished, the paintings were really pretty.  I figure there are two options if you want to save the paintings – either hang it up as it or turn them into multiple smaller paintings.  Since I don’t have the room to hang up 2 large paintings and we have a number of family birthdays coming up in August, we decided to cut them into smaller designs that can be used to make birthday cards.

My kids love to paint, especially M.  Anytime we paint in a “non-traditional” way (i.e. without paint brushes) it adds even more fun.  Even J lasted longer than usual painting this time.  I hope you and your kids have fun with this activity too!

If you’ve missed any of our other Summer Boredom Busters, check them out below.  I also have some fun ideas coming in the weeks ahead so be sure to follow me by email or on Facebook so you don’t miss any!

Week 1: Easy Bird Feeders

Week 2: Water Play – Pretend Dish Washing

Week 3: Chalk Towns

Week 4: Ice Excavations

Week 5: Cotton Ball Painting

Week 6: Homemade Popsicles

Week 7: Giant Bubbles

Week 8: Water Play – Washing the Car

Week 9: Sun melted Crayons

Week 10: Obstacle Course

11 thoughts on “Summer Boredom Busters – Cotton Ball Painting

  1. I’m sure my grandchildren would love doing this! They are spending the day with me on Friday and I now think we’ll be doing this as one of our activities. Thank you for sharing it!

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