Tea bag painting (2 - 3 year olds)

This activity is great not only to explore mark making through different expressive arts materials but also to stimulate your senses!


Home Learning

By painting and mark making with tea bags you are exploring your sense of smell, touch and sight. As well as bringing in early scientific concepts; watching the tea bags create colour when in warm water! This is an exciting part of the activity for children, they are able to watch something change.

You will need

  • warm water
  • tea bags
  • paper

What to do

Get your paper, tea bag and warm water ready, before you start speaking to your children about what you are going to do and begin to use some leading questions “what do you think might happen?”, “what can you see changing?”. Get the child to put the tea bag into warm water (with support as the water needs be warm/hot). They will then begin to see the tea react with the water and create colour! Once the tea bag has reacted to the warm water, children can begin to mark mark on white paper, watching the different marks they create!

Tea bag painting

Learning outcomes

  • Uses language as a powerful means of widening contacts, sharing feelings, experiences and thoughts.
  • Learns new words very rapidly and is able to use them in communicating
  • Uses a variety of questions, such as ‘what, who’ where, why’
  • Distinguishes between the different marks they make
  • Fine motor and hand eye coordination
  • early scientific concepts (observation and change)

Key words

  • water
  • tea bag
  • react
  • observe
  • change

Discuss with your child

  • What do you think might happen?
  • What can you see happening?
  • Has the colour changed?
  • What can you see on your paper?
  • What can you smell?
  • What can you feel?