We had such a blast with ball painting this week. The process is very simple. Have small boxes and paper to fit inside. A variety of balls (golf balls work great because of their small size but heavy weight and texture) including but not limited to golf balls, marbles (watch these around toddlers who still put things in their mouths), wiffle balls, and softballs. Put the balls in the paint and roll around in the box.

You can find a lot of blog posts on ball painting. Here are some of my favorites:

Make + Believe

Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning

Let the Children Play


I set out a minimal amount of chairs this week hoping to encourage students to stand and do their art. I felt that they’d have better control over their box when standing. The ball really gets moving with tilting back and forth and up and down.

Even the youngest students (18M -2Y) got the hang of the ball painting. While some enjoyed directing which balls and which colors and having their caregiver tilt the box, others had no problem grasping the box themselves.

Having paint accessible in open bowls also inspired body painting and finger painting.


In my research for ball painting I ran across marble painting in a Pringles container on First Palette. What a simple and brilliant idea. One of the cool parts to this project is that the marbles make noise when you shake them around. This was a particularly challenging project to catch on film because the kids were moving around so fast and having so much fun jumping around the studio shaking their marbles.

This student unveiled her marble painting midway so I could catch a glimpse of the masterpiece to come.

Here are some of the finished products drying on the wall.