• 4 shoeboxes (adult size)
  • A4 paper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • coloured paints
  • golf ball (or another heavy ball)
  • marbles
  • balls with different textures


  1. Put paper in the box.
  2. Squirt a coloured paint (small blobs) on to paper in box.
  3. Drop the ball/marble into the box.
  4. Move the box around by hand and watch the ball/marble make coloured tracks in the paper.
  5. Squirt another paint colour into the box and choose another marble; start the process again.


This experience combines sensory and imaginative play. A child’s hand-eye coordination and concentration improve and they can discover how colours develop (i.e. mixing colours to make another colour). The activity also encourages a child’s imagination to make artwork in a different way other than using a pen or paintbrush.

Extension Activities:

• Get the children to work in pairs; choose a larger box where one child can stand at each end. Working with a partner is challenging because the children have to tilt the box the same way at the same time – not an easy thing to do!

• Cut the marble-painted sheets into pieces and assemble them into an interesting paper collage.

• Use the cut-out parts (above) as a jigsaw. Get the children to build the jigsaw.

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