Cotton Pad Turtle Craft for Preschoolers

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INSIDE: Create an adorable turtle craft using cotton pads and coloured water. This turtle craft is a fun activity and craft that you can do any time of the year. Creating a turtle is a lot of fun for toddlers and preschooler and this fine motor activity is great for building the strength in little hands. Cotton Pad turtle craft is also great for talk and learning about colour mixing!

Age Suitability

This activity is good for kids 3 years and up. My kids are 3.5, 3.5, and 7 year old.

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Cotton Pad Turtle Craft for Preschoolers

I have included some questions and comments you can use to help get your toddler, preschooler or kindergartner talking during this craft. Don’t force it. If your child would rather create in silence that is completely fine too! They are still learning and gaining valuable skills!

Today we are going to make a make and colour in a turtle! What is the home of a turtle?

  1. Grab a piece of cardboard. You’ll want it to be large enough to fit the turtle and have extra room around it to help to keep the mess down.

What shape is a turtle shell? Square? Triangle? Circle?

  1. Invite child to draw a big circle in the middle for the shell using a green paint stick or marker.

We are going to colour in the shell in a special way, so let’s leave blank for now. What else does a turtle have? Head. Where is it?

  1. Invite child to draw a smaller circle at the top of the bigger circle. 

How many legs does a turtle have? Does it have a tail?

  1. Invite child to draw a two smaller oval/circles on each side of the larger circle. And a small tail

What colour is the turtle? many legs does a turtle have?

  1. Colour in the head and legs green. Leave the large circle blank.
  2. Hand preschooler a squeeze bottle of glue or glue stick and invite them to trace the body of the turtle with the glue. Also have them squeeze glue all inside the turtle. 
  3. Then have them stick cotton pads in the glue to create the shell of the turtle.
  4. Next, have then glue down a googley eye on the turtle head.

Decorating the Cotton Pad Turtle Shell

Is a turtle shell white? No! What colour is it? We are going to use coloured water to colour out turtle shell.

  1. Practice using the eye droppers so they get the hang of squeezing and letting go to draw the water up the eye dropper.
  2. Grab some bowls, add a few drops of brown yellow and blue food colouring into each bowl and mix with a small amount of water.
  3. Invite your child to use the eye droppers to colour the cotton pad turtle!
  4. Save the craft by getting your child to suck up any extra water in the cotton pads. Set aside to dry.

What colours do we have? How can we make green? How can we make brown?

Can you tell me about your turtle? How did you make this colour? Your use of blue in the middle is really eye catching!

How do you feel about your turtle? Are you a proud artist?


(This post and list contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may earn a commission. Please visit my disclosure policy for more information.)

  • Cardboard
  • Cotton pads
  • Glue
  • Pencil or Sharpie
  • Eye Droppers
  • Bowls
  • Water
  • Food Colouring
  • Googley eye

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