Family Time Calendar: Get Crafty - iVillage

Near the end of the summer break, the kids are restless and you're ready to lose your marbles. Instead, pull out a handful of real marbles for a fun time. Kids can create fascinating abstract designs with marbles and paint.

What you'll need:

  • Deep aluminum lasagna tray, preferably with a flat bottom
  • Craft paper
  • Masking tape
  • Poster paints in assorted colors
  • Glass marbles
  • Drinking straws (optional)
  • String (optional)

What you'll do:

  • Cut a piece of craft paper to fit the inside of the tray. Secure the paper to the tray with some tape.
  • Place a coin-sized pool of paint on the paper, then add one or more marbles to the tray and tilt the tray back and forth. As the marbles roll around, they will spread the paint in an abstract design.
  • Remove the marbles and wash them to remove the paint. Wait until the painting is dry before repeating the process with another color, if desired.
  • For a different effect, allow the kids to add several colors of paint at one time and let the marble motions blend the colors together.
  • To make "blow art," place the tip of a drinking straw right next to -- but not in -- a puddle of paint. Blow gently to spread the paint outward. If the paint is not moving easily, thin it first with a few drops of water.
  • One more technique: Let the kids drag a string through a paint puddle. It allows them more control over the finished design. Use a new piece of string for each color.
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