I was working on Ten Uses for Dollar Store Flat Marbles when we accidentally stumbled upon this surprising art activity. As my 3-year was throwing flat marbles in a cup of water, while the older two kids were painting at a dinner table, there was a suggestion to combine these two activities. Water + Paint + Flat Marbles? Why not! Without much ado we threw ourselves in this experiment. There was no end of, “This is so cool!” “It was such a good idea to try this!” And “I love it!”
You probably tried or at least heard about marble ball painting. This activity employs the same concept, but a little bit differently since flat marbles do not roll around but slide down en masse dragging paint with them. If you add a bit of water, like we did, it thins out the paint and allows for even more dramatic color mixing. The end result is a pretty impressive piece of art. Fit to be framed, if you use the right kind of paper.
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What you need
Flat marbles (I bought ours for $2.99 at a dollar store, but amazon carries them too)
Tray with sides, baking pan or shoe box
Paints, such as Tempera Paint
Instruments (plastic forks, knives, sticks, toys…)
Paper, plain printing paper or better yet acrylic paper
What to do
1.Tape a piece of paper inside a baking pan/box. If you want to frame your final product use heavy paper designed to be used with wet media.
2. Put some paint at the top of the paper. (I should mention that it was an extremely sunny day and our craft table was right in front of the window. That’s why you see these bright patches of sun on every pic!).
3. Place marbles in the paint.
4. Now tilt your pan/box, so the marbles can slide down.
5. You can keep doing it until you are satisfied with the results. Or you can hold a marble with your fingers and paint with it.
6. Or you can add some water to thin out the paint.
7. We also decided to use some plastic forks to move the marbles around.
Overall we were pleasantly surprised at how pretty our work looked. “It’s so cool,” was the general conclusion all around.
If at any moment you feel like the current color combination just doesn’t work. Add more paint! I think this is the kind of project where kids can be as generous with paints as they wish (or as you have courage for). Oh and I’m happy to say that it is very easy to wash the marbles clean as long as you do it as soon as the project is over.
The thing we enjoyed most about this art project was the experimenting. We kept adding new colors, more water and new “instruments” just to see what happens. Color mixing is definitely a lot of fun!
Have you ever tried marble art?