Another fun way to play with paint and keep in the St. Patty’s Day spirit to is to create rainbows in a more unorthodox way. With marbles (or Mar-Balls as Jax calls them)!
Yup, I’m getting art, holiday, and fine motor brownie points for this one! Thanks to The Mother Huddle for a great idea!
Materials: paper, paint, one marble and one bowl for each color you plan on using, a cake pan
We were going for a basic rainbow, so we needed 6 bowls and 6 marbles. One glob of paint in each.
We created marble rainbows two ways. First, we dipped a marble in the red paint, then rolled it around on a piece of paper inside a cake pan. We did the same for each color, doing one at a time.
At first, Jax just tipped the pan up down up down from one side to the other. The marble just kept rolling straight across along the edge of the pan. So I helped him hold it flatter and we played a game of “Don’t let the marble touch the sides!” Anything said with a sense of urgency is immediately more fun for him anyway, so he liked this tag team method best.
Then we did the same for each color, letting each one run its course and use all the paint. It looked cool–you could trace each individual color’s path as it ran across the paper.
We both loved it and it took a bit of time–double bonus. Then we decided to dip the marbles in a different color each, but let them race across the page at the same time. This took a monumental amount of effort for Jax to not touch the marbles until they were all ready. But he exercised self-restraint, sweet boy, and we talked while I set it up about how we thought it would be different to let all the colors go at once instead of one at a time. He’s not much for hypothesizing, however. Much more interested in getting to the action.
I didn’t like the result as much–the marbles just ran into each other and then started creating rainbow tracks that eventually became a little brown–but Jax thought it was super cool and more like a “race.” We still had to play the “Don’t let the marbles touch the side!” game, but this time it was funnier to him because of the marble collisions.
He thought it was hilarious how one of the marbles got stuck in another one’s path–he still talks about it when he sees the painting hanging on the fridge!
This activity was more than just a pretty picture–it definitely required fine motor skills to pick up the marbles and dip them in the paint, and coordination to guide them across the paper. It was a lot of fun and I think this may be my favorite way of painting yet!
Have fun chasing rainbows!