Marble Painting is one of my favorite art activities for preschoolers. I ran a home daycare when my 3 oldest kids were little and we tried to do at least one art project everyday. We pulled out the marbles for marble painting at least once a week. There are so many different variations you can do on this and the kids never got sick of seeing all the cool patterns and color combinations they could come up with.
As a bonus, my kids love asking me if I’ve lost my marbles every time I clean up after marble painting.
The answer is usually yes.
This art project is so easy to do but it keeps kids busy for hours. We always go through stacks and stacks of paper when we do this because my kids want to keep trying new things.
- Marbles – The patterns change based on the size of your marbles so try big marbles and small ones. You could get a little creative too. We’ve used bouncy balls, grapes, and more. You can get a great deal on marbles on Amazon if you have trouble finding them in your local store.
- Construction paper – I like to use good quality construction paper for this so it holds up to the paint. Thin paper tends to tear when you cover an entire side in paint.
- Paint – Go with a good, washable paint. You’ll be glad you did when it comes time to clean up.
- A cardboard box with short sides – For this project, you want a container with sides high enough to keep the marbles in but not so high that the kids can’t see. I’ve found that the lid to the box of printer paper I buy works perfectly but any box will do. You could even cut down the sides of a larger box.
Have your preschooler put a piece of paper inside the cardboard box. Squirt a few different colors of paint onto the paper. You can do a few spots of paint or squirt the paint in lines. They give different results so play around with both of them.
I like to keep a bowl for the marbles because you’ll need something to pour them into between each paper you paint. You can just dump the marbles back into the bowl when your picture is done. It’s much less messy than trying to pull them out one at a time.
Pour the marbles onto your paper. As they roll through the paint they will create lines all over your paper.
The process is even more fun than the end results. My 3 year old loved watching her marbles paint. She was actually asking to do this project again only 10 minutes after we’d cleaned up because she loved it so much.
Tilt the box back and forth to move the marbles. Let the marbles roll around until your paper looks the way you want it.
When you are done, carefully pour the marbles back into your bowl (this is probably a job for an adult unless you want to chase painted marbles across your floor . . . not that we’ve done that) and remove the paper. Set the paper aside to dry while you get to work on the next painting!
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