Losing Our Marbles

Like most of us, I have fleeting memories of my toddler days.  One of these memories is a project we did with marbles and paint back in my 4’s classroom.  And like any good crafting dork, I have these things on hand so… we decided to walk down my memory craft lane and give it a whirl.  [Sidenote, Marilu Henner of Taxi fame, remembers every detail of her life… can you imagine?!]

I pulled out the marbles, a couple of roasting pans (because they have nice tall sides) and a cupcake tin to hold the paint.  Oh, and I laid down a waterproof table cloth for any rogue marbles that might escape the pans (an absolute certainty).

Digging through my craft closet, finger paint was the first thing I saw so we went with that, but tempera or acrylic paint would totally work and would probably be more colorful. To make the paint a little thinner, I added a spritz of water before dumping a few marbles in each color.

I cut a sheet of white paper in half to lay flat in each pan and added the marbles.  Whenever we’re doing activities like this, I try not to give too many parameters as I like watching what the kids come up with on their own.  I showed them what would happen if they tipped the roasting pans back and forth, but then stood back to watch Eleanor and Oliver’s craft wheels turn.  They shook, they rattled, they bounced… and yes, they did spill some marbles, but they loved it.

Eleanor was going after it a bit so the picture is blurry.

Eleanor opted for a ‘fist full of paint and marbles’ approach whereas Oliver liked flicking his marbles back and forth across the page.

I’m not going to lie, this isn’t the neatest activity I could have chosen as Oliver tried to eat his paint at one point and Eleanor kept itching her nose (fine with clean hands… messier with paint covered hands), but look at the concentration!

The finished masterpieces are pretty cool and might even make their way into my soon to be created art gallery for the kids.

And who knows? Maybe they’ll remember back to the day when it was pouring rain outside and they sat and made their own marble painting.  Either that or they’ll remember how good the finger paints tasted.




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