Have you tried to do marble painting with your toddler? This no-mess activity is easy, fun and quick to prepare, most importantly, it stirs curiosity and surprises your child.
Suitability: An individual child
Age Group: 18-40 months
Duration of Activity: 10-15 minutes
You Will Need:
- White A4 drawing paper or light-colored bond paper
- An empty A4-sized box (You can recycle your A4 printing paper box)
- Masking tape
- 5-10 marbles
- Crayola Washable Paints
This idea sparked when Jaeden (38 months) was playing a box that I simply just left behind the kitchen. Boxes seem to be something so fun and interesting to toddlers. They can think of many ways to play with the plain box, whether it is putting things in and taking them out again; covering their tiny heads like a boxy helmet, or they can even climb inside the box as shelter if it is big enough for them to explore. And so I thought that we could make use of the marbles and box to create a one-of-a-kind but no-fuss painting.
First, I asked Jaeden to place the A4 drawing paper (thicker will be better) so it fits the bottom of the box. He was curious to know what we were going to do with the box, so he did it very quickly. Then, I let him choose three of his favorite paint colors and show him how to squeeze some small amounts of Crayola Paints in the middle of the paper. Crayola Paints are good for toddlers – The design of the bottle is just the right size for little hands to squeeze. In addition, the colors are bright, non-toxic and washable in case any “accidents” happen, but I can ensure you that this is a VERY SAFE activity under your supervision. It all happens inside a box!
After that, I instructed him to throw 10 marbles in the box and helped him to seal the box using masking tape. This is the fun shake-shake time, Jaeden was so excited when he could roll (feel the marbles running from left to right, up and down) and shake the box around. In fact, if you do not have masking tape, you can just let your child to hold the box without covering it so (s)he can control the marble movements to create the painting patterns that (s)he likes. If you seal it, your child will be eager and curious to peel off the tape, when your toddler opens the box, it’s like magic, (s)he will discover a picture painted inside! That’s right, a colorful painting is created using just marbles and box shaking technique, no mess, only more surprises! Lastly, just hang the picture dry. The picture can even be used as a gift-wrapping paper as the pattern is full and thorough.
Let say you are concerned if marbles are too small for younger toddlers -how if they are simply too imaginative: try “to eat” the marbles like glutinous rice balls and get choked? No worries, you can replace marbles with bigger balls. This concept can be applied in doing arts and crafts to celebrate holidays like Easter and St. Patrick’s Day. You can see how Jaeden and I practiced the same method to design a string of lucky shamrocks to be hung on his tent. Discover the ideas of these easy up tents you can build indoor. And, don’t forget to do marble painting today!
Do watch this personal live tutorial I have done for you: CLICK to play the video!