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Coffee Filter Art

By Becky Will

Listen, what is with this weather?! I don’t know about you, but this summer has had a lot of unpredictable thunderstorms and rain. It’s put a damper on summer plans and my kiddos have had some loooooong days inside. You feel me?

Thankfully, my son broke out this coffee filter art activity from our archive the other day and I was so thrilled about how entertained, engaged and happy he was to do it. My son LOVES this project and returns to it every so often and I’d love to share it with you.

Last summer, he was so into it that he spent his own money to purchase coffee filters and then he had created so many different designs that he set up a table outside of our home and sold his art to our very lovely neighbors. He felt very proud of his work and very energized after making these. He made a sign with pricing, set up the table and waited patiently and chatted up the neighbors as they passed by. It was a side of him I don’t see often and I had to applaud his entrepreneurial skills.

I’ve taught art projects with various grade levels for years and one of my mottos is to always keep it simple. Don’t overthink it and don’t think you need fancy art supplies to keep kids happy and satisfied. This is a great example of that.

SO, to the fun stuff!

Why do we love this project so much? It involves very little prep, very little supplies, it is FUN & PRETTY and there is no right/wrong way to do it. It’s abstract and beautiful nearly every single time!

All you need is:

● Coffee filters (in any size)

● Washable markers

● Spray bottle of water or a pipette with a bowl of water

● Plate/tray

Step 1: Have your child lay out the coffee filter and use the markers to color the coffee filter in whatever way they would like. There is no right/wrong way to color it. You can do designs, different patterns. A lot of color, a little color. Just be sure to color gently as the filters can break easily!

Step 2: After you’re done designing your filter, place it on a plate/tray.

Step 3: Grab your spray bottle/pipette and place drops of water on the filter a little at a time. Too much water will let the color bled too much and it will mute the colors. Some colors will blend together and this can be a great way to talk about secondary/tertiary colors with your child.

Step 4: After it’s sufficiently wet and you’re satisfied with how it looks, find a place for it to dry. Our favorite place is on a drying rack/towel. You can wipe down your plate and then create another!

After they are dry, our favorite thing to do is to hang them in the window, but you can also cut them up and collage them, or cut different shapes!

I encourage you to let your child try different techniques and experiment with the materials once they are comfortable! Our son doubled up/tripled up filters to see what designs he would make. He’s also folded them in different ways to see what would happen. There’s a lot of fun to be had with so little supplies!

Here are a couple of more great ideas using the same materials!

Want some other great art activity ideas for your child without any prep? Teaching Totes have you covered! Did you know that each tote has art projects with directions and supplies included as well as a ton of other play-based learning materials including games, toys, puzzles, books and more?! YUP, we do all the prep for you!

Check out our team and reach out to your local specialist to begin the easy renting process!

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