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Toothbrush painting à la Jackson Pollock

What you need

  • An old toothbrush
  • Some paint (water with food colouring could also work well)
  • Paper/cardboard
  • Shallow container
  • Space to get a little messy!


This activity will develop your child’s fine motor skills as they will be using their thumb and fingers to pick up and hold a small object, and having a go at using a finger to flick paint. They will also be experimenting with different types of marks, which is an essential developmental phase.

The experience

Set up an area with a shallow container containing some coloured paint or water with added food colouring. Provide your child with some paper, or a piece of cardboard from a box, which will cope with lots of mark-making and getting wet with the paint, more easily than paper. 

Provide your child with the toothbrush, demonstrating how they can use it to make different marks by brushing over the cardboard/paper or by using their finger to flick the paint at the paper. 

When your child has finished experimenting, you will have a Jackson Pollock-inspired masterpiece! You could leave it as a whole picture or cut out desired shapes from the paper, perhaps some pretty summer flowers?