Mini Monets and Mommies: Snowball Toss Paint for Kids

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Snowball Toss Paint for Kids

Messy art is my favorite! Whenever I get the chance to teach a mess-filled lesson at work or (when my son was younger) create it at home, I do. The other day I was watching Elf (I could watch that Christmas movie over and over again). When Buddy starts popping cotton balls into his mouth like candy, I can’t help but to giggle. What does this have to do with art? It got me thinking about ways to use cotton balls (other than for wiping make-up off of your face or dabbing cream on your child’s scraped knee).
Kids' art

Sure, they look like little snowballs. But, can the kids have a cotton ball fight in the same way that they would with the snowy stuff? With some imagination they can. They can also use those ‘snowballs’ to throw (yes, I said throw) some pretty cool art. Warning – this is a super-messy activity. It’s also a great boredom buster on those cold winter days when it’s too chilly to play outside for more than a few minutes. The cotton balls become the perfect vehicle to throw paint onto a paper canvas, creating an abstract work of art! Not only is it fun for little artists, but you can try it too. It’s a great stress reducer for grown-ups.

Before you get started, prep for the mess. Cover anything that you don’t want to get splattered with paint (or move it). You can use a painter’s tarp or unfolded garbage bag. I found that using thicker tempera paint also kept some of the mess under control.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        Wax paper

·        Tempera paint

·        Cotton balls

·        Paper

Here’s What to Do:

1.     Pour cotton ball-sized pools of paint onto the wax paper. The paper works as a barrier. Really. This is the paint sitting on the paper on my dining room table. There was no mess underneath!
Paint art

2.     Dip the first ball into a paint pool.
Winter artCotton Balls

3.     Toss the paint-covered ball onto the paper—it’s just like throwing snowballs (only a bit messier).
Tempera Project

Kids' art

4.     Repeat with different colors.
Winter craft

Your child can keep it abstract or toss the paint to make a ‘picture’.

She can create Monet’s Water Lilies using cotton ball toss paint!
Monet Painting

Or make a Christmas tree. This one also adds in a math lesson. Your child needs to count how many tosses she makes. Start with one at the top and move down to larger lines of paint throws.

Tree Craft

Are you looking for more art activities? Follow my process art Pinterest board for ideas galore!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Process Art for Kids on Pinterest.


  1. This looks like so much fun. Being allowed to throw snowballs of paint? Who wouldn't love that? Thanks for sharing on Artsy Play Wednesday.

  2. We are going to try this in the tub with the paper taped to the wall. Then easy clean up. Hopefully! Following you from Crafty Saturday.

    1. Great idea! There will be a much easier clean up that way!

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  6. Or make a Christmas tree. This one also adds in a math lesson. Your child needs to count how many tosses she makes. Start with one at the top and move down to larger lines of paint throws.

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