A packet of polystyrene balls provided surprising outdoor activity for a sunny afternoon (before the weather broke). Ordering them in size, lining them up, blowing them with straws, counting etc. We then found an old tin, threw in the balls, mixed in some paint and rolled it down a hill. This is definitely an activity for its own sake (you end up with lots of similar looking pictures), but they are the best anyway. Great to take out to do in a park or some countryside...
You will need:
- A packet of polystyrene different sized balls (available in stationery shops, kids suppliers, Amazon)
- Cylindrical tin with a lid
- Poster paint
- Take some time to ook at the balls: explore their shape and size, order them in size height, count them.
- Take a couple of straws and blow them around. See which is hardest to move and discuss why that might be. Practice picking them up by sucking and putting them down by blowing (much more difficult for a young child than you may think!).
- Take a piece of paper and fit it inside the tin, folding it so that it fits snugly around the edge (you may want to tape it).
- Put the balls into the tin and add your colour of choice.
- Secure the lid and shake up the tin (you may need to do this quite vigorously depending on the thickness of your paint.). Open it up to check the paint has covered the balls and mix up if necessary.
- Go to the top of a hill and roll the tin down.
- Run down and open the tin.
- Extract your paper and marvel at the results...
- Add other colors and repeat.
To extend the activity: Roll some big paper down the hill so you have a 'run' for the balls and roll or blow the paint covered balls down. Watch as they leave tracks on the paper.
Or you could:
- This idea is based on marble painting where you lay a piece of paper in a tray with sides, put in some marbles and paint and move the tray around so you end up with marble-paint tracks on the paper. Also a good way of using Autumn conkers.
- Try different things: pasta, rice, lentils, pebbles etc and see what differences you get in your pictures.