One of the best ways to get and keep a preschool's attention is by providing an activity that is interactive, exciting and stimulating. Add some paint and the possibility of getting messy and those kids will have their eyes glued on you for more instructions. Marble painting combines art, science and an opportunity for creativity, all contained in a box, pan or something similar. Who says you can't learn while you get just a little messy?
As a lesson prior to or in conjunction with marble painting, you can introduce several different topics. You can talk about objects in motion and gravity. You can discuss the speed of the marble as the kids manipulate it around the containing device and ask them to make the marble go from here to there, trying to make the marble travel at a fast pace and then a slow speed. Have the children try to make designs, if they can, such as a circle, zigzag or a straight line. You can discuss primary and secondary colors and demonstrate this lesson by adding a small amount of red, blue and yellow onto the paper and have the children maneuver their marbles so the colors mix into orange, green and purple.
Imagination and Creativity
As with any art project, marble painting offers an opportunity for preschool children to use their imagination and creativity. No two marble paintings will be alike as the moving marble doesn't tend to replicate patterns easily. Any number of paint color combinations can be used to achieve this art form. You can also use different sized marbles for this. Glitter and embellishments can be added to the art project for extra fun. Even glow-in-the-dark paint offers a fun Halloween or space craft.
Preschool kids tend to love art and craft activities. Throw in some paint and a marble that they can roll around and they will have a blast. If you use a magnetic marble and a magnet wand underneath the containing device, the kids will prove that magnets never go out of style. Even when the marble "accidentally" falls out of the containing device, the children will still enjoy seeing their artwork unfold.
Containing the Mess
As most teachers and parents know or quickly find out, preschoolers and painting usually equal a big mess to clean up. Marble painting, on the other hand, is confined to a box lid, paper plate, baking pan, pie tin or similar containing device. The paper is placed in the containing device, paint is squirted directly onto the paper in small area(s) and the marble is maneuvered around inside the containing device. Unless the paint-covered marble falls out, which can happen, the paint and mess will stay contained and under control.