Marble rolling

This is a fun messy play activities that helps a child's movement as well as hand-eye co-ordination. Use a mixture of different sizes marbles, as well as colours to create a mixture of designs.

You will need:

  • Marbles of various sizes
  • Empty crisp tubes
  • White card
  • Paint in various colours with a small pot for each colour
  • Tea tray


  1. Divide the marbles between the children and allow them to explore rolling these backwards and forwards on a tea-tray.
  2. Ask the children to place the marbles into a shallow container with a small amount of their chosen paint.
  3. Encourage the children to roll the marbles around the shallow container so the marbles are coated in paint, ideally three or four marbles in various colours of paint.
  4. Place a piece of card into the inside of the crisp tube (cut to size as appropriate).
  5. Ask the children to add the marbles and place the lid onto the tube.
  6. Shake and roll the tube so as to make lots of noise… this could be done to music to make it more fun, and the tubes used like a ‘shaker’.
  7. Gentle remove the lid and tip the marbles onto the tea tray. 
  8. Remove the card to see the design.

Extension Idea:

Cut shapes from the card and make personalised decorations, e.g. gift tags for a special occasion.

Areas of Learning and Development (EYFS)

This activity support the following areas of learning and development. For more details, see our factsheet on the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Communication and language Communication and language:
Listening and attention
Physical development

Physical development:
oving and handling

Personal, social, and emotional development  Personal, social and emotional development:

Making relationships

Expressive art and design Expressive arts and design:
Exploring and using media and materials
Being imaginative