Water Bottle Printing with Preschoolers

This idea originally came from Frugal Family Fun Blog. I have seen this idea on many other blogs as well but this is where I saw the idea first.  I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.

Theme: Flowers

The theme for this particular week is Flowers.  The children are creating flowers from all sorts of artistic approaches. Below is a class of older three year olds having fun with the process. Each teacher is allowed to interpret the ideas the way they would like and they use their own teaching style.  This teacher is very soft spoken and guides the children in a quiet, relaxed manner.  She did not have an assistant and there were about 10 children participating in the project.

Activity in Action

The teacher set out empty water bottles, paper, and paper plates filled with a puddle of paint. The teacher set out about five different colors of paint.  She let each child pick a color of paint they would like to print with.

The children dipped the bottom of the water bottle into the paint then made prints on their paper.

The teacher led the children through several stages of this project. After the children printed with their water bottles, she gave them all little paint brushes and invited the children to paint the center of their circles with the different colors.

The children caught on easily to this activity and took their time painting inside their circles.

Once the children seemed satisfied with their circles, the teacher then set out green paint and invited the children to create stems and leaves.

The children each had their own idea of how to add the stem and leaves.  I might have demonstrated the idea of how to add leaves and stems first but the teacher clearly knew her kids better because in the end, their ideas were far more interesting and creative!

One of our finished pieces of art! Awesome!!

It was an easy clean-up. I got the job of washing off the water bottles.

The kids washed the paint brushes!

By |2010-06-24T23:12:21+00:00June 24th, 2010|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Centers and Circle Time June 24, 2010 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Aww, I love that. I’m sure there are water bottles with different patterns on the bottom too. Or soda bottles. I’ll try that one in the spring, thanks for sharing:)

    • Deborah J. Stewart June 24, 2010 at 11:38 pm - Reply

      Absolutely. As well as bottles of different sizes (large and small bottoms:)

  2. Teacher Tom June 25, 2010 at 8:32 am - Reply

    I love art projects that involve recycling!

  3. Katherine Marie June 26, 2010 at 3:03 pm - Reply

    Fantastic!!!! I just added this to my TO DO list!!

  4. Toki April 7, 2017 at 6:31 am - Reply

    My class absolutely loved this!! It really saved us on a rainy day because we couldn’t go out. Bookmarked several other or your activities. Thank you so much!

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