QBoy and XGirl always get excited when I bring out the paint. Because it’s messy, I’m sometimes hesitant to get it out. But painting with marbles seemed like a relatively mess-free way of engaging my kids, so I was interesting in trying it out. Painting without brushes like this was a totally new way of doing art for my kids, so I was curious to see how they would react to this activity.
In order to do this painting with marbles activity, I started by gathering the following materials:
I used double sided tape to secure a sheet of paper to the bottom of each kid’s bin.
Then I invited QBoy and XGirl to drip up to three colors of paint on to their paper.
Next, they selected two marbles to put into their bins. (We later realized that the bigger the marble, the better. The smaller marbles tended to get stuck in the paint while the bigger marbles would roll through the paint.)
Once the kids dropped their marbles into their bins, the real fun began! They started moving and shaking and tilting the box to get the marbles to roll around.
As the marbles rolled around, they smeared the paint around the paper.
QBoy happily announced to me that the marbles were mixing his three paint colors into brown.
They continued to roll their marbles until their entire papers were covered in paint.
Of course, it was too much fun to do just once, so after I laid their paintings to dry, I rinsed out the bins and washed off the marbles so they could do it all over again!
This was such a fun art project that ended up incorporating some gross motor movement as well. Plus, the end results were really striking!
Note: Although you could do this activity using a box with shorter sides, given how vigorously my kids liked to shake the bins it was very useful to have such high sides on our bins to keep the marbles inside. If you choose to do this activity, exercise your best judgement as to the appropriate bin to use and the appropriate location to do the activity.
Looking for more hands-on activities that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM)? Then you’ll love STEAM Kids! This book features 52 hands-on activities are helpfully identified by category (science / technology / engineering / art / math) so you know exactly what skills your kids are developing.
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