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Wednesday, August 29, 2012


We saw this extremely cool marbling technique over at The Artful Parent, but she credits the original post back to Inner Child Fun, so we would be remiss not to link it to her as well.  When we saw it, both RL and I knew it was something we wanted to offer to our children.  RL bought two marbling kits and she was kind enough to let me have one of them.  Something I really like about the kit is that a little ink goes a long way.....something that I didn't like about the kit is that it says "for children ages 6 and up".  HA!  Another gross underestimation of the abilities of toddlers.  ;) 

My son, who is typically not a huge fan of artsy activities.....LOVED THIS!!  He thought it was "so cool" when the paint brush touched the water and the colors dispersed, and the prints were "fantastic".  We did this on the light panel because it made the colors easier to see.  We also gently blew the colors around to swirl them as classical music was playing in the background....that really got us into a swirly, whimsical kind of mood.  LOL

Dabbing on the ink with a paintbrush

Putting card stock paper on the surface of the water to absorb the inks



I think he liked this activity.

We've done this activity several times since we first purchased the inks.  I'm sure this will be a long standing favorite in our house.  Both my girls (3.5 years and 2.5 years) loved this as well.  

We took a little bit of a different approach.  I asked my girls if they wanted to drip the ink on out of the bottle or use a paint brush.  The decided to squeeze it right out of the bottle.  After seeing the way my 2.5 year old uses food coloring my first thought was "She is going to squeeze that until there is nothing left!"  I explained beforehand that she only needed a drop or two of each color to create her design and it was never an issue.  

Directions will come in the box.  You basically fill your container up with about 2 inches of water and start creating!  These little white circles came with the ink set.  You drop the ink on the paper and it disperses in the water.

Above is my 2.5 year old.  She loved chasing the little paper circle around to drip her ink on.  

The design

Placing the paper on.

"Look!!  I made a print.  Do you see all the colors?" - 3.5 years

"Oh, I love the way you mixed orange and blue.  The orange goes all the way around the blue.  That's cool."  - 3.5 years

Here my oldest is gently blowing on the ink.  

After numerous attempts at this I found it is best to place your prints between two pieces of paper towels and lay something heavier on top.  We did this while they were still wet and let them sit over night.  The first time we did this we just let them sit out and the edges curled up quite a bit.  

Here are our finished prints.  The top print is done with watercolor paper and the bottom with card stock.  They give you different effects.  

We plan to cut these to note card size and use them as thank you cards after my oldest daughter's art party.  

The kits can be purchased HERE.


  1. HA! the suggested age of certain toys/activities was a source of a few arguments when i worked at a daycare in the 1 & 2 yr old room. every time someone from the "head office" came to visit, they would remove things i had purchased because the package recommended 3+yrs.

  2. We did this when I was in high school in one of my art classes. As an adult, I can tell you this is SUPER fun, and by far, next to doing batik with bees wax in the same class, was one of my favorite art class activities in all my years of primary/secondary school.

    One fun tool our teacher had made - take a thin scrap of wood 1" X 1" X 12" (roughly) and place a nail ever inch or so to make a comb to drag through the dye splotches floating on the water - it makes really neat patterns.

  3. We did a similar activity in summer camp when I was 7 or 8, but instead of marbling paper, we marbled fabric and then turned the fabric into pillows. I don't remember the exact kind of fabric, but my guess is that it was a cotton or linen, plain weave kind of fabric (maybe a muslin?) as it was historical re-enactment camp and almost all of our materials were 'authentic' to the late 1700s/early 1800s, the era of the farmhouse in which the camp was located. Might be fun to experiment with different fabrics and use the results for a fabric-based project (like pillows or quilts) later on. I couldn't hand sew until I was 5 or 6 (and then, quite poorly), but I remember helping my mom sew on her machine earlier than that.

  4. I love your site :) Didn't you once mention, that you got those light panels from Walmart? I can't find them there?

    Thanks so much,

  5. these are beautiful! and might i add, baby barbie's comment is probably the most amazing spam i've ever seen. it's like poetry!

  6. We did this on our second grade class! (im 29 bonuses how I remember so far back) then we took the two sheets and folded them into origami boxes, one top and one bottom!. You can Turk these into any origami shapes or paper snowflakes as we'll! They always turn out gorgeous! Also for more designs you can use a wide tooth hair pick!


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