Inside: Looking for a colorful preschool butterfly art activity? The wings on these butterflies are painted with marbles – a fun technique that involves lots of moving and balancing!
The process is appealing to children because there’s lots of action going on. The marbles have to be dipped into the paint, then spooned onto the paper, and then the container has to be tilted back and forth so the marbles move.
It gets the entire upper body moving, especially if done while standing!
So, when I decided to use the marble painting technique for our butterfly art, I should not have been surprised at how successful it was.
Take a look!
Colorful Preschool Butterfly Art Painted with Marbles
What we used for this butterfly art:
- Tempera paint in assorted colors (we had 4 different colors)
- Doll-peg clothespins
- Pipe cleaners
- Paint containers
- A round container for the paper
- White paper (I used diffusing paper, but you can use thin white paper or even the centers of round coffee filters.)
Setting it up:
- Cut the white paper to fit inside the pan. Make as many circles as you will need.
- Fill paint containers about 1/3 full with paint and add marbles.
- Place everything on a table.
Watch it on video:
Invite your children to use the spoon and scoop the marbles from the paint container, releasing them onto the paper.
The next part is optional: having a lid for the container.
I bought our containers at the dollar store and they came with containers. We first tried this activity with the lids on top of the containers. I thought perhaps it would keep everything in place.
The plus to having a lid is that the children can actually gently shake the container and the marbles won’t fall out.
However, our preschoolers were moving so quickly that we simply didn’t have time to keep putting the lid on.
But, after observing the activity, I realized they were doing quite fine without it.
Plus, having the container open allowed them to actually see the process and know when to move the pan and when to stop.
So we stopped using them. But, it’s still an option, especially if you are wary of stray painted marbles escaping. (Only 1 marble escaped during our session.)
Below shows our set up with the children in action.
I love using our little Simplay3 table for these types of activities!
The children were having so much fun spooning the marbles in and out of the cups.
In fact, after awhile I realized that’s what they were loving most.
And then, when the activity was winding down, a couple of the last children at the table began pouring marbles from paint cup to paint cup. (By this point there really wasn’t much paint in them, so I let them continue.)
Let the marble-painted circles dry thoroughly.
Painting the bodies:
Have your children paint the doll pegs and let them dry.
Once all pieces are dry, fold the painted circles in fourths and slip into the peg.
Twist half of a pipe cleaner around the top of the clothespin for the antenna.
Colorful and fun!
More spring activities:
Planning your bugs & butterflies theme? We’ve done the work for you!
I am so excited to be a co-author of these bugs & butterflies theme lesson plans.
24 preschool learning activities for your bugs & butterflies theme, including literacy, math, science, art, fine motor, and more! A great resource for teachers and homeschoolers.
24 preschool learning activities that cover: