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Coffee Filter Bats

These coffee filter bats are a fun way to get a bit messy with art. They are a great addition to any Halloween theme or unit about bats. Using a few supplies around the home, you can create these colorful bats to brighten up any room!

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Activity PDF

These spooktacular bats are fun to make and can be hung just about anywhere!

Children can take control of this activity by using any color markers they wish and doing any design on the coffee filter. Stripes, dots, lines, or blobs all work great when decorating your coffee filter. No two bats will look alike!

📚Start the Convo: Cause and effect is a skill that preschoolers practice often. This activity hones in on those skills by exploring what happens when water is added to a coffee filter with marker on it. 

👌Easy substitute: Spray bottles can be hard to hold for younger children — try using eye droppers instead to transfer water to your coffee filter.

🦇 Did you know? Bats can 'see' in the dark using a special skill called echolocation.


For this activity you will need:

Coffee filters


Washable markers in dark colors

Black and white paint


Small paintbrush

Spray bottle filled with water

Waterproof surface to work on (a cookie sheet works great)

Learning Outcomes




Reflecting and Reaching Conclusions


Describing similarities and cause and effect in recurring events


Step 1:

Start by painting your clothespin black and letting it dry.

Step 2:

Next, take your coffee filter and fold it in half. Color in the coffee filter with your dark markers. You can use blobs or create a pattern using lines, just make sure the whole coffee filter is colored.

Step 3:

Once completely colored, take your spray bottle full of water and begin to lightly mist the coffee filter on your cookie tray until the colors start to blend together.

Step 4: 

Let the coffee filter dry completely, fold it in half and cut out round, half-circle shapes into the edge of the coffee filter to create the bat wings.

Step 5:

Once your clothespins are dry, draw 2 eyes and a small mouth on the clip end of the clothespin with your white paint and let dry.

Step 6:

Pinch in the middle of the wings and slide the clothespin onto the filter and spread out the wings!

⬆️ For older preschoolers: Give older children complete autonomy with this activity. You can create pencil marks on where to cut the bat wings out and let them have full control on this one. Each bat will be unique!

⬇️ For younger toddlers: The spray bottle may be a tricky concept to grasp — try hand over hand until they nail these skills.

Playful Questions

Have you ever seen a bat before?

Why do you think bats sleep at night?

How do bats communicate with one another?

Why do bats hang upside down?

What happens to the marker on the coffee filter when you add water?

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