Play & Learn: Rolling in Paint

Get the ball rolling with hands-on painting! You can use balls of all shapes, sizes, and textures to create a unique masterpiece and inspire hands-on learning.

Playing is one of the Every Child Ready to Read program’s five early literacy practices that build valuable skills. Play-based activities encourage your child to explore with imagination and fun. Play also encourages your child to use multiple senses in learning, which helps reinforce concepts and build brain connections. Process art projects like this one are also a great way to introduce simple STEAM concepts.

Play encourages children to use their creativity and imagination. Experimenting, decision-making, and problem solving are all natural parts of play that your child will continue to use as they grow. Play is how children learn about their world.

Process art teaches your child to think creatively and experiment with different methods. This builds the foundation for essential critical thinking skills needed later in life. By exploring without step-by-step instructions, your child is learning about cause and effect, and trial and error. Talking about what you are doing while you create together develops your child’s vocabulary and conversational skills. Manipulating the box and ball together helps your child develop coordination, while the pinching and grasping movements develop the fine motor skills we use for writing. Art also encourages your child to practice skills like color recognition and self-expression.

Creating art together is a great way to build your connection with your child. After all, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. The person they learn the most from is you!

Playing musical games and sharing stories with rhythm is a great way to build your connection with your child. After all, you are your child’s first and most important teacher. The person they learn most from is you!

If you don’t have any balls, you can do this activity with other supplies. Try using rocks, shells, yarn, or even toys cars. Using balls of different sizes and textures is a great way to explore different artistic techniques.

You can also incorporate art and experimentation into your playtime. Here are a few books with some ideas for exploring art with your child. Whether you’re painting with balls or mixing your own playdough, you can introduce new ideas, vocabulary, and experiences for your child. Explore, experiment, and most of all, have fun!

Extended Reading

Art Lab for Little Kids: 52 Playful Projects for Preschoolers by Susan Schwake Request

The Arftul Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art and Creativity by Jean Van’t Hul Request

First Art: For Toddlers and Twos by MaryAnn F. Kohl Request


For more early learning activities, check out our Early Literacy in Action page.

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