I love arts and crafts for kids. It gives kids the opportunity to be creative and explore different materials to make something special. I am always looking for new materials to use for arts and crafts. Each new material is a new experience for kids.
If you have a few magnets at home, you can do this simple art activity. There is a little bit of science mixed in as children learn about magnets and magnetic pull.
As with all activities, please make sure to supervise at all times. Do not try this activity with children who still put things into their mouths. Especially when using magnets, young children should not be handling or have access to small items.
The materials are fairly simple for this art project. The main item that you need is the magnets. You can use the ball and wands, like I did, but other magnets can work as well. As long as you have two magnets, you can drag them through the paint to create great designs and pictures.
- Magnet Marbles
- Magnetic Wand
- Tape (Optional)
The other great thing about the materials, is that kids will love playing with the magnets long after you are done with your art project. The magnets are a great learning material for children to explore and experiment with.
If the set of marbles you are using are new, before starting on the art project, take the opportunity to allow children to play with and explore the magnets first.
Children can test putting different materials between two magnets and seeing if the magnets are strong enough to still move with something between them.
Arts and Crafts for Kids Steps
To start, place a piece of paper on the tray. I used disposable trays because I was working with several groups of children in a class setting. The trays are great because they can be rinsed, or thrown out, or recycled when you are done.
As long as you use a tray with a lip around the outside, it will work.
This activity works best if there are at least two people working together. One person will need to hold the tray so that it is off of the table. The tray needs to be raised so that you can get the magnet wand underneath.
If you are doing this in a class setting, I placed children into groups of three or four. Two or three children held the tin tray so that it was off of the table and held strong and flat in the air.
One child then used the wand to create their art.
Once you have your groups and paper ready, next, add a few blobs of paint on the paper.
(We found that our paper started slipping around once we started. You can add a bit of tape to the paper so that it does not move around on the tray.)
Next, place a marble, or two, onto the paper. Place the magnet wand on the back, underside of the tray. The wand will never touch the paint.
Slowly move the wand around from the bottom. As you move it around the bottom, it will attach and move the magnetic marbles on the top of the tray. It will move the marbles through the paint.
The wand, under the plate, controls the ball, on top of the plate, so there is very little mess or clean up.
Children will love watching the magnetic ball ‘magically’ move through the paint and mix the colors together. It is a great chance for children to see how a magnet can work through a material (the tray).
In the classroom, children rotated through holding the tray and taking a turn with the magnets and painting.
There was so much excitement in the room when I did this activity in the classroom, and at home with my own kids. Using the magnets adds a whole new way of painting and creating art.
The magnets add an extra challenge because they are hard to control in terms of making specific marks and pictures. However, if children just enjoy the project for being something new and a creative way to paint, the end results are beautiful!
Arts and Crafts for Kids Extension Ideas
To start, we only used the primary colors (red, yellow and blue) so that the colors easily mixed and made a beautiful secondary color. Using the magnets is a fun way to teach kids about color mixing.
If you are doing this art project with older children, you can challenge them to create something specific. They can try to ‘paint’ their name by carefully moving the magnets.
Children can also create pictures versus simple designs. You can add paint blobs on certain parts of the page and then move the magnets to create different things.
If you have several magnets, you can place a magnet in each color you are painting with and move the wand underneath and then lift it to attach to another magnet (instead of dragging the magnet through the paint and leaving lines.)
There are lots of ways you can change this art project up to be more challenging. However, with all of the children I have ever created with they simply love making beautiful designs with the magnets.
It is almost like magic to them. It is also a great sensory experience as children work to control the magnet as they create.
I hope that your little ones enjoy this new painting experience as much as my kids did. If you are looking for more arts and crafts for kids, there are more ideas below.
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More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more activities and ideas to do in the classroom, or at home with kids, below are some of my favourite and most popular learning activities.
From more arts and crafts for kids and a huge collection of science experiments to DIY escape rooms and printable products, there are lots of things to keep kids busy and learning. Click image for activity description.