Marble Painting for Kids
Kids Arts and Crafts Activities Painting

Marble Painting for Kids


Marble painting for kids is an easy and fun action art activity that results in a wonderfully abstract work of art. Fun variations included in this article!

Marble Painting for Kids

Marble painting is always a favorite kids art activity!

We’ve done it on our own as well as for playdates and the larger toddler art group.

We have created individual-sized marble paintings and larger group marble paintings.

And we’ve even done a similar painting activity with playground balls in the swimming pool.

It’s not painting marbles, but rather painting with marbles.

Here’s a video of marble painting in action.

What do you think? Doesn’t that make you want to give it a try?

Marble painting for kids fits all my criteria for a winning art activity.

  • The process is fun and open-ended
  • It’s easy to do
  • It’s the kind of activity that the kids want to do over and over again
  • Plus, bonus!, the end result looks pretty great—a wonderfully abstract piece of art

Here’s how to paint with marbles:

Marble Painting Materials

Marble Painting for Kids

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Marble Painting for Kids

Step 1. Prep

First, prepare for marble painting by putting some paint in the muffin tin sections (or egg carton or whatever), protecting your work surface (we used these art mats), placing a sheet of paper in your shallow box or baking dish, and setting out the marbles and spoons.

Marbles for Kids

I expected the kids to dive right into the marble painting—it has been a favorite, after all.

But no. They started out by oohing and ahing over the marbles and doing some heavy duty marble trading.

You see, while we have always had marbles (picked up a yard sale when Maia was a baby), I gave each kid a new bag of marbles at the start of this art activity. And they were way more excited about them than I thought they would be.

I think I got these marbles at the local toy store or maybe the dollar store. I don’t remember. But if you don’t have marbles yet, I’m sure you can find them easily. You can also always order some.

Okay then… Onward to step two!

Marble Painting for Kids

Step 2. Add Paint-Covered Marbles to Paper

Drop your marbles in paint…

Marble Painting for Kids

…mix them around a tad to coat them with paint…

Marble Painting for Kids

…then transfer your paint-covered marbles to the paper in the shallow box/dish.

Daphne transferred a fair amount of extra paint with her marbles as you can see above. Maia transferred almost no extra paint. It’s all good!

Marble Painting for Kids Instructions

Step 3. Roll Your Marbles Around

Now lift your shallow box/pan and tilt it this way and that so the paint-covered marbles roll around and leave their little painty trails, creating interesting designs on the paper.

Marble Painting for Kids

You can roll the paint covered marbles around the paper as little or as much as you like, depending on how you want your painting to look and how much you are enjoying the process.

If desired, you can add additional paint covered marbles and continue working on the artwork.

Kids Marble Painting

Or you can stop, remove the marbles, and take out the finished painting.

Finished Marble Paintings

Kids Marble Painting

Here’s one of Daphne’s…

Kids Marble Painting

…and one of Maia’s.

Kids Marble Paintings

Plus more of each of theirs.

Have you tried marble painting with your kids yet? If so, perhaps it’s time to give it another go. 

Marble Painting for Kids – More Ideas

More Ball Painting Ideas

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Marble Painting for Kids


  • Reply
    May 18, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    I love all kinds of marble/ball painting. Recently, I’ve used textured spaldeen size balls in a large guitar box and long roll paper. It’s a two person activity with one child on each end of the box. Using two hands, they roll the balls back and forth through the paint. It creates a long panel of swirly colors. So much fun.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    May 19, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Love marble painting! Have you ever tried with metal marbles and a large magnet under the tray? Its another take on this activity :)

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      February 28, 2017 at 4:35 am

      I haven’t, Erin, but it sounds great! Where do you get metal marbles?

      • Reply
        February 9, 2018 at 9:54 am

        I think they’re actually ball bearings (from manufacturing plants). We called them “steelies” when we were kids.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2015 at 4:35 am

    What a brilliant idea! My almost 4 year old daughter just loved it! I think she’ll be painting this way for quite a long time. She might even forget that paint brushes exist :)))))
    Thank you so much!

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