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Rainy Day Fun for Kids: Q-tip Challenge

Rainy day fun for kids - what can you make with cotton swabs

I feel a  little strange writing about rainy day activities for kids given that I don’t even remember when I last saw rain, but I know that a lot of my readers ARE getting rain (and, apparently, even SNOW!) so this seemed like a good time to pull this Q-tip challenge rainy day fun for kids idea out of my drafts. It’s been sitting there for nearly a year and a half, in spite of the fact that the kids enjoyed doing this so much that they have repeated the activity several times since. Out here in “can it please rain some day but I also somewhat guiltily enjoy the drought because it means we can stay dry walking to and from school” California, this has become more of a sick day activity. I love that it is simple, easy to clean up, and that it gets the kids thinking creatively!

Using cotton swabs to explore shapes

My kids love to explore geometric shapes and play with designs – Johnny made both the abstract piece above, as well as the triangle, square, and rhombus.

Emma made the alphabet letters below – A, E, P, and H. The kids try to limit themselves to seeing how much they can represent with only four Q tips!

Playing with Q tips - getting creative

Can you believe that this is what Anna looked like a year and a half ago? Kids grow up too quickly! She found this activity pretty entertaining to watch back then, and she likes to importantly make her own designs these days!


What are your favorite rainy day and sick day activities for kids? What household materials do you like to use for crafting? What are our favorite craft materials? I shared my sick day craft materials in this post! My kids love using Q tips to paint – and they make for interesting microscope viewing, too!

MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

18 thoughts on “Rainy Day Fun for Kids: Q-tip Challenge”

  1. Katie @ Pick Any Two

    So simple, and yet it’s genius!!! I’ll definitely be doing this with my toddler, and using Q-tips to paint too. I can see both activities keeping him entertained for quite some time.

  2. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    This is a great challenge, especially for younger kids. I am so looking forward to some rain… eventually!

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