Virtual Museum – Painting with Objects


Children are invited to use a variety of natural and/or homemade objects such as cotton swabs, celery stalks, leaves, forks or using fingers to paint onto paper.


  • Paper or paper with printed tree image
  • Tempera paints or any paints
  • Small plate
  • Suggested objects: cotton swabs, celery stalk, fork, couple leaves or using fingers, etc.


  1. Place a paper in front of your child.
  2. Squeeze out a small amount of different colored paints on a plate.
  3. Give your child some objects to paint: cotton swab, celery stalk, fork, leaves.
  4. Sit down with your child and engage them with the “Guiding Questions” below.
  5. Support, don’t lead. Let them decide what materials they want to use and how and when to use them.
  6. Keep it open-ended. Let your child explore, experiment and use their imaginations.
  7. Talk about the patterns and designs created by the children.
  8. Focus on the process, not the product.


  • How did you make this design? What object did you use?
  • What do you think it will look like if we use a fork to paint?
  • What shape does celery stalk remind you of?


  • Fine motor skills. Grasping objects to paint helps children develop their fine motor muscles.
  • Cognitive development. Art can help children improve their observation and creativity.
  • Math skills. Children can learn, create and begin to understand concepts like size, shape, counting.


You may even want to go on a nature walk with your child, collecting natural items in a small paper bag to use in a painting project when you return home.