Marble painting is a great art project that encourages eye-hand coordination and muscle control. It’s fun to experiment with different colors and designs and it’s easy to adapt the project to any holiday or season. Here Alyssa shares a shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day, flowers for Spring and an egg for Easter. Bonus: Kids love marble painting!
- Shallow box, plastic tray or cake pan (note: stores like Costco have great box options)
- Cardstock or construction paper that fits flat into bottom of box/tray (8 x 11 or larger)
- Tempera paint (your color choice)
- Small cups (one for each paint color)
- Plastic spoons (one for each color)
- Marbles (1–2 for each color)
- Larger plastic balls, such as bouncy balls
- Plastic wrap to go around box (if you’re concerned about marbles coming out of the box/tray)
- Place paper in the bottom of the box/tray.
- Put about ¼ cup of each paint color into separate cups.
- Put a marble in each cup and use a spoon to coat it with paint.
- Place a paint-coated marble into the box on top of paper.
- Roll the marble around in the box to create lines—side to side, top to bottom, in a circular pattern, etc.
- Repeat with other colors.
- Try using a different sized ball or adding more than one marble at a time.
- Remove the marble(s) and add more paint as needed.
- When happy with the design and amount of paint, allow paper to dry thoroughly.
- Cut paper into desired shape, such as shamrocks, flowers or eggs, to make cards or decorations.
- If desired, glue painted shape onto solid color background as a matte.
More to Learn
As kids practice tipping the box left, right, forward and back, experiment and ask questions like:
- What happens when we add more than one marble?
- What happens when the marbles roll faster or slower?
- What happens if the ball is larger?
- Will colors mix? How?
Alyssa Navapanich is a nationally recognized and award-winning art educator who teaches art to elementary school kids in East County.