• Mckenna Brook

Watercoloring with Tea Bags

It was one of those days where I was entertaining my 10 month old to no end. You mean you don't want anything to do with your basket FULL to the brim of toys? Nope. A classic problem we face in our home. Anyways, we were both about to lose it. I became so desperate for something, I started to scrounge around the house searching for anything that would keep her engaged. I came across some tea bags in the pantry and remembered back to my preschool teaching days when we used them to watercolor!

We are a big tea family so I was very excited about this activity! Such a simple activity that is affordable and accessible. All you need are tea bags, plain paper, and water to dip the tea bags in. We used the Celestial Seasonings Fruit Tea Sampler mainly for the pretty pink and purple colors. However any type of tea bag will work! The setup is easy. I pre-dipped the tea bags in the water for my baby and laid them out next to a couple sheets of plain white paper. That’s it! It was all ready for tiny hands to explore.

Baby girl proved to be a tea lover as she dove right in! It’s as if she knew exactly what to do with these new materials. She brushed and dabbed the tea bag across the paper, leaving the loveliest pink and purple strokes. Her pink stained fingers were proof of how much she enjoyed watercoloring with tea bags. Since the tea bags were new and exciting she of course wanted to stick them in her mouth. I mean, what baby wouldn't. Luckily we aren't working with toxic paint and the tea bags are harmless, however to avoid the eating of the tea bags, I popped in a pacifier and boom. A trusty hack I use with almost all our tempting sensory activities. Works every time.


Like I mentioned before, I did this activity with my preschoolers and it was also a huge hit! For the older child, allow more room for independence. Lay out the paper, dry tea bags, and water. Sit back and let them take the lead. Prompt the older child with questions as they explore the materials. For example, ask them, “What is happening as you dip the tea bag into the water?” Point out cause and effect if they have not already made the connection. “See how the color escapes the tea bag and leaks into the water?” So much discussion and learning can be had here through observation!

There you go! Watercoloring with tea bags. Simple yet captivating. A favorite in my baby's book that we will keep around for time to come. I hope this activity will bring some joy to your little ones as well!

Enjoy and happy playing little one!