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Bundled Q-Tip Fall Tree Painting

This fun art activity is a fascinating way to create vibrant fall trees with q-tips. Easy enough for toddlers to hold and challenging enough for older preschoolers to create wonderful masterpieces!

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Bring autumn inside!

The changing seasons bring about beautiful colors and this art activity is sure to transition from summer to fall seamlessly with its bright mix of colors. Children will love how easy it is to mix and blend the paint colors to create a tree full of colorful leaves! 

🌸Changing Seasons: This art activity is quite versatile for any season. Try pastels in the spring, blues and greys for the winter and greens for the summer!

FYI: This activity encourages the palmer grasp (great for little ones). Older children may use this grasp to hold the q-tip bundle, too.

Hot Tip: Create 1 of these each season inspired by the trees outside and you’ll have a gorgeous collage of the trees through the seasons!


For this activity you will need:

Paint (orange, yellow, brown, and red for fall colors)



Rubber band


Black/brown marker/paint

Learning Outcomes




Fine motor


Using the palmer grasp to hold tools


Step 1:

Start by creating your tree and its branches with your black/brown marker or paint — the more branches the better!

Step 2:

Once dry, add a few dollops of paint to a plate/pallet of your fall colors.

Step 3:

Grab a handful of q-tips (about 10-15) and wrap an elastic around the bundle in the middle. 

Step 4: 

Take one end of the q-tips and dip a few in one color, turn the bundle and dip it in another color and so on until all of the q-tips have paint on them. 

Step 5:

Using a dabbing motion, dab the branches with the q-tip bundle creating a brightly colored tree! 

⬆️ For older preschoolers:  Older children will love blending the colors together. Add a dollop of white or grey to create lighter/darker hues of each color.

⬇️ For younger toddlers: This activity is great for younger toddlers because they may not have developed the ability to hold something using the pincer grasp (first finger and thumb), so they can hold the bundle with their whole hand making this super accessible!

Playful Questions

What happens if we mix orange with white?

Why do you think the leaves change colors on the trees outside?

Have you ever seen a leaf fall from a tree?

What colors do you see in the springtime on trees?

Where do the leaves go in the wintertime?

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