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Marble Painting with Children


I’ve written before about how much I value Sure Start Centres. Last week, the twins and I joined a friend and her daughter at our local one for a session we hadn’t been to before: Mucky Bears. The art activity for the week was marble painting.

I love how children learn through messy play. It helps them develop their creativity and imagination with a wide variety of objects, textures and materials. If I’m honest, I also love them doing the messiest of messy play somewhere other than our house.

Marble Painting

This particular week there was water play with various floats, coloured shaving foam piles to squidge hands into and make patterns with and a model farm complete with hay and construction toys. They played with it all. However, the thing that really captured them was the painting with marbles.

Marble painting Marble painting

Marble painting Marble painting

It was referred to as ‘marbling’. However, it wasn’t the marbling I’d done as a kid where you put inks onto water, which has washing up liquid in it, and then put a piece of paper on top to get a print. This was literally dunking and coating marbles in a choice of two paint colours, using a spoon to drop them into a tray lined with coloured sugar paper, and then rolling them around the tray. The girls did a picture each independently, a joint one where they took it in turns at doing a layer and a joint one where they both did everything at the same time. They were fascinated by how different each one looked. They were especially fascinated by how they got lots of different greens from just their blue and yellow paints.

A really simple, but great activity; and one that I actually will try at home.


About Author

I’m Fran: wife, mother-of-three and freelance publicist. My love for communicating and writing mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. I love good food & wine, Italian culture and football and have a keen interest in personal finance. I also blog over on Epsom & Ewell Families and Habyts, and write sporadically for a number of other sites.


  1. Love the pictures they have created. I’m like you in that I preferred messy play anywhere but at our house. Mine always seemed to get paint etc everywhere at home but at playgroup they walked away spotless!

  2. Sounds like you had a great day and I’m going to have to try this activity at home! I was going to take my youngest to a messy play session to save me the clean up at home but at £4 a session I changed my mind pretty quickly. Thanks for linking up with #MultipleMadness p.s I fixed you link picture for you xxx

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