How to Make Marbles From Colonial Times

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Things You'll Need

  • Salt

  • Water

  • Cornstarch

  • Aluminum foil

Show children how marbles were made in Colonial times.

Kids like to play with the pretty, commercially produced glass marbles that are available in the stores today, but the game of marbles is not a new concept Colonial American children played with marbles that they made by hand from any materials they had available to them. They used rough stones or even fashioned marbles from homemade clay. You can demonstrate the ingenuity and creativity of early colonists to your own child with this simple project using only common household materials just like the colonists did.


Step 1

Combine 3 cups of salt with 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.

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Step 2

Add in 1 cup of cornstarch gradually a tablespoon at a time, stirring well after every addition.

Step 3

Stir the mixture continuously until it thickens, becomes a sticky mass and pulls away from the pot.


Step 4

Spoon the mass of cornstarch clay onto a sheet of aluminum foil. Allow it to cool to the point that you can handle it comfortably.

Step 5

Knead the mass until it is a stiff dough that is no longer sticky.


Step 6

Break off small pieces of the dough and form them into marbles; rolling them in your hands until they are ball shapes

Step 7

Set the marbles on a dish on the counter to air dry for 24 to 48 hours. The marbles will have a smooth, hard finish suitable for painting, if you wish.



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