Kids Arts and Crafts Activities

Marble Rolling with the Art Group

We did some marble rolling with the Toddler Art Group yesterday. I had a bag of marbles that we had picked up at a yard sale a couple of years ago along with those wooden blocks that you can build a marble run with. I had put the marbles away, until now, because of the choking hazard (Maia used to put everything in her mouth). But I remembered the marbles and have been wanting to try rolling them with paint. This is Nathan's painting, above.

I got out our cake pans, pie pans, and baking dishes and cut paper to fit. I placed a bowl of marbles on the table as well as cups of paint and spoons (for fishing the marbles out of the paint cups). I've seen this activity around, but got the specifics from MaryAnn Kohl's Scribble Art.

Here's Justin, rolling his paint covered marble around the cake pan. Little brother Nathan is watching. (Nathan is still in the oral stage, but we watched him closely, and he was able to enjoy the marble fun.)

Vivi found another use for the cups of paint. :)

I think they all enjoyed the activity! It was easy and fun. Have you tried it? You can use larger balls too. I was just thinking how fun it would be with playground-size balls and one of those little kiddie pools. Not sure where you'd get a piece of paper big enough, though…

Thanks to Rachel for taking photos yesterday!


  • Reply
    July 3, 2008 at 4:03 am

    Love the pic with lil bro watching!
    What if you taped newsprint together and put it in the pool? Sounds like fun.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2008 at 5:09 am

    Looks like fun! I notice the painty handprints on your wall…hope that came off!!
    My husband is always finding marbles at his work (odd, since he works in a trainyard). My son calls them “colored pearls.” Maybe we’ll try this.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2008 at 6:36 am

    I have a giant roll of craft paper that might cover the bottom of one of those really little kiddy pools. Playground balls might be too big for that, but wiffle balls or tennis balls would probably work. Hmmm, I may have to try this out now.

  • Reply
    July 3, 2008 at 3:23 am

    Sweet! We actually used some balls in the kitchen a week or two ago and it was fun, but they got everywhere! Ack.
    Thought you’d enjoy my latest post:

  • Reply
    July 3, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    We do this at preschool with soda flats (the cardboard containers for four 6-packs.) Then we change out the marbles with golf balls and small wiffle balls and koosh balls. Besides the swimming pool, we also put paper in coffee cans, toss in painty marbles, cover it up and roll them around the floor. One year we tried plastic Easter eggs with marbles glued inside to make them roll awkwardly (kind of like Mexican jumping beans.) Alas, the glue didn’t hold the marbles that well, but they still made interesting designs on the paper.
    I think the coffee cans were the kids’ favorite, not for the paintings they made, but for the enjoyment of rolling the cans.

  • Reply
    MaryAnn KOhl
    July 3, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Try this with oranges or balls in a small wading pool with large paper. It’s really run and once they’ve done the small project, you should see their eyes light up when they do it BIG!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    I’ve done this in my classroom – special needs students with multiple disabilities. It is great in the metal pans because it makes a great noise – very sensory. I did it at Christmas time using jingle bells instead of marbles. I also tried using pumpkin seeds from a pumpkin we carved – I put the paper in a pringles can and then dumped in some paint and the seeds and then we could put the cover on and shake the can. I’ve also seen this activity suggested using golf balls, but I haven’t tried that one yet. I’d love to see it done in a big wading pool – maybe an activity for my summer camp classroom!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2008 at 10:48 am

    You might even be able to use a sheet and bigger balls — have some of the kids hold the edges (like a parachute) and some of the others toss the balls in. I haven’t done this, it just sounds like it might be fun. Maybe we’ll try it here and report back! Happy 4th.

  • Reply
    Mozi Esme's Mommy
    July 6, 2008 at 12:32 am

    What fun! I think I will try this with a ping pong or golf ball.

  • Reply
    July 6, 2008 at 5:36 am

    If you have a local newspaper nearby, call them up and ask if they have extra newsprint to give you. I stock up every year at our local printing place. This should be large enough for wading pool painting.

  • Reply
    July 9, 2008 at 5:16 am

    I LOVE how you document all the kids’ artwork on your blog! It’s obvious you really relish what they do in your group.
    My FAVORITE part of this series of photos is the little boy proudly hanging his picture up by himself and getting paint everywhere in the process! He looks like he’s totally into his artwork and isn’t being cramped by someone lording over him saying, “No! No! Go wash your hands first!” That’s so cool that he got to fully enjoy the process and feel so good about it.
    I want to try the Saran Wrap one with my girls!

  • Reply
    July 9, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Jean,
    Thanks for sharing this activity. When my girl tried it, she simply loves the movement of rolling the marbles.
    Would also like to share on our latest post on butterfly blotting with you.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I am really excited to try this

  • Reply
    Summer Fun with Little Ones
    July 13, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    […] ideas for art making are at Artful Parent. How fun does painting with marbles […]

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