Looking for an easy Christmas activity to keep kids busy? Try this Christmas Q-tip painting project. It’s a pointillism wonderland – and a quiet indoor activity that’s perfect for a fast-paced holiday season.
What is pointillism?
This Christmas Q-tip painting project is really just “pointillism for kids.” It’s a fun process to learn, especially if you have a detailed and meticulous kiddo like I do.
And it’s a great unique art technique for kids to know about.
Here’s how I explained pointillism to my 5-year-old:
First, remember that you need to explain this technique! If it’s new to your child make sure they have a frame of reference and some buzz about what this technique looks like and how it comes together.
The first time my daughter (5) and I did a pointillism art activity, we sat and looked at pictures on line painted in this technique.
She was fascinated by this and it turned into one of the best art activities we did.
RELATED: Are you interested in more Christmas crafts with your kids? This is the best list of easy ideas.
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- White butcher paper (I can’t tell you how much I recommend owning a roll)
- Washable tempera paint
- Q-tips (You can also use the eraser on a pencil)
- Painter’s tape
- Black marker
There aren’t a ton of supplies needed for Christmas Q-tip painting. It’s mostly just the “usual suspects” for any Busy Toddler activity. I try to keep supplies to a minimum or in our “most used” list.
The set-up for Christmas Q-tip painting only took a view minutes.
- Roll out the butcher paper or use construction paper.
- Draw some holiday-inspired pictures as simple, basic outlines. Nothing fancy here!
- Remember to keep it simple so your child has a good blank slate to paint inside of. Also remember that kids think we are amazing artists, no matter what we draw.
For my daughter, she just kept asking for more and more Christmas items to paint. In the end, she painted:
- Christmas tree
- Candy cane
- Gingerbread person
RELATED: Christmas games for kids are the best way to entertain children at a holiday party. See my list here.
Tip – Model how to create Christmas pointillism
Teach your child how to gently dip the Q-tip into the paint and then use it to make dots all over the inside of the pictures you drew.
Encourage them to add many many dots, but not to use the Q-tip as a brush or drag the paint in any way.
The goal is many, many, many dots.
Tip – Q-tip art alternative
You can still do Christmas Q-tip painting even if Q-tips aren’t your thing or there aren’t any in the house.
Use the eraser end of a pencil to make the same circular dot pattern that the Q-tip makes. This is a great, re-usable option.
I do recommend using one pencil per color to keep from mixing colors.
RELATED: I love easy Christmas activities for kids! Here’s my list of really simple holiday ideas.
Use Christmas Q-tip painting as wrapping paper
The question with any art activity that’s this big is “What in the world am I supposed to do with this art work now that they’re done?”
Turn it into wrapping paper.
Let this dry and wrap those grandparent Christmas gifts in the most adorable paper possible. Trust me: this is a winner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Remember: think stages, not ages. Ask yourself questions about your child: do they like art? Are they interested in coloring books? Is this something they would enjoy? Can they make small dots? Instead of basing an activity on a child’s age, base it on their interests.
You could also use dot markers for this activity.
Painting with kids looks complicated. It looks messy and many people don’t want to attempt it with their kids. I have lots of tips for this. Painting with kids doesn’t have to be a mess or a disaster. Check out my list of tips for painting with kids.