He may never be willing to help polish the floor again!

Preschool Art Activities Using Paper Towels

by Rosenya Faith

While they’re great for wiping up spills and drying your hands, your preschooler has an entirely different purpose for this functional home cleaning accessory. If you’ve got a few rolls to spare, you can transform them into art projects that’ll let her explore her artistic side and keep her occupied for endless hours.

Paint with Paper Towels

Put away the paintbrushes and the sponges and spend an afternoon painting with paper towels. Let your little artist try using them in a variety of different ways. Spread some paint on her artist’s canvas and let her sweep the paper towels through or dip the end into some paint and let her sweep it across the page. She can bunch the paper towels up into balls and use them like she’d use a sponge or rip them into little bits, cover them in paint and use them as part of her finished painting.

Paper Towel Painting

If you’ve used up all your painting paper or just feel like letting your little munchkin try something new, have him paint his masterpiece on sheets of paper towels. Provide him with paints and paintbrushes, finger paints and other painting accessories like sponges and stamps. Now he can use whatever accessory he likes to turn his paper towel canvas into a work of art.

Paper Towel Flowers

You’ve got piles of paper towels that she’s decorated with paints. You’ve hung some on the wall but now what do you do with the rest of them? If your munchkin’s artwork is just too precious to throw out, why not have her transform the individual pieces into beautiful giant flowers? You can have her layer them on top of each other, squeeze the bottoms together and wrap an elastic band around the bottom. Make some in a different fashion too: Gather five to 10 paper towels individually and pinch them one at a time at the bottom. Now gather all of them together in your hand and wrap an elastic band around the bunch. Finish off the bouquet with a pretty little ribbon bow.

Paper Towel Tubes

You’ve used up all the paper towels and all you’re left with are the rolls. There’s no reason for the art and activity fun to stop now. Have your preschooler turn a pair of paper towel tubes into a pair of binoculars and watch how excited she is to look outdoors at birds and other wildlife through her new craft. She can turn a single paper towel tube into a music maker by filling it with rice and covering the ends with construction paper and elastic bands. If you’ve still got some more left over, hand them over and let her use her imagination to create her own art projects.


  • Nature's Art Box; Laura C. Martin, et al.
  • Art with Anything: 52 Weeks of Fun Using Everyday Stuff; MaryAnn F. Kohl

About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.

Photo Credits

  • Kraig Scarbinsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images