Marble Madness Play & Learning

By | July 23, 2013

Marble Play & Learning

marble madness

Simple PLay With Everyday Items!

Sitting in our garage was this long piece of wood, so I asked my husband to drill holes to fit golf tees. He looked at me a bit odd but went out to the garage as a good husband does. Turns out, we didn't have a bit small enough, so he diligently got in the Jeep and went to Home Depot just so I could do my marble activities with Liam! He's so great.


Here's my little helper doing some sanding!




To make the activity last a bit longer, I emptied and buried the bag of 50 marbles into the rice sensory bin. This is a good starter activity for Liam since he does not always like to look for things very thoroughly. When he felt he was done finding them, I asked him to look some more and then we went over to the table and counted them. This showed him there were still a few more and he would need to use his eyes and his hands to find the last few.

IMG_3842Here's the set up for the marble and golf tee balancing activity. He placed a golf tee in each hole and then I showed him how a marble would balance on each one. I continually encouraged him to use his pincer (pincher fingers to him) grasp as he wanted to use his palm a lot. He also realized he needed to go slower and look out for his shirt or arm so he wouldn't knock other marbles off. That was a learn by doing process!

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We even went a little crazy and did some color patterns!


This activity flowed into the next after we cleaned up the golf tees and the marbles into their containers. More fine motor skills with marble scooping into a glass jar! He loved the sound the marbles made and worked nicely without a lot of prompting. He did want to keep using two hands to get the marble on the spoon but I showed him how the other had could hold the container and then the glass jar.

marble scoop


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When he was finished, he poured all the marbles back into the container. Time for marble painting. Not to messy but lots of fun. I taped paper to a cookie sheet and we squeezed some paint on to it. At first, he played with the marbles and paint with his fingers and then I showed him how he could tilt the pan and roll the marbles around. We added more marbles and more paint to make some great art!

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Here's the masterpiece!


Have you played with marbles lately or have you lost yours? Haha. I love your comments. Share your simple play and learn favorites in a comment!

Please take a look at my sidebar for all the great places I link to each week!

Including 1+1+1=1 Tot School Gathering Place

26 thoughts on “Marble Madness Play & Learning

  1. Kirstylee @ Moms Have Questions Too

    I love that you started out this activity with a rice tub. I need to do things like that more often with my 5 year old. That’s a great way to practice really looking. Plus, I love all of your fine motor ideas!

    1. littlebins Post author

      Thank you! The rice tub is a staple around here since you can do so much with it. We have a lot of work to do with “really looking”!

  2. Emma

    Putting marbles on the golf tees looks difficult – your son did great. I don’t think I could have such a steady hand – lol!

  3. OneMommy

    I have definitely lost my marbles! :)

    Actually, I have a small collection of antique marbles that the kids love to look at. I’ve been wanting to try the marble painting with them one day. Love the balancing on the golf tees!

    1. littlebins Post author

      So much fun. I think my husband thought I lost mine when I asked him to drill all those holes in this huge piece of wood!

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  5. Rachel

    What a fun collection of activities! We have one marble activity on our shelves at the moment but this has inspired me to do another activity!

    1. littlebins Post author

      Awesome, I love trying out new things and making them our montessori style!

  6. Carla

    My kids would *love* this…and we have all the supplies!! I wonder how my husband would feel if he came home and discovered I had used his drill… 😉 I’m pinning this and featuring it at this week’s linky party–thanks so much for sharing it at Teach Me Tuesday at Preschool Powol Packets!!

    1. littlebins Post author

      Awesome Carla, thanks so much. I just figured my husband needed something to do 😉 See you tomorrow at the linky party!

  7. Renae

    What great ideas. My 4 year old LOVES marbles and has TONS. Other than our space unit, I really haven’t used them. I’ll definitely have to incorporate some of these great ideas. I’m pinning so I don’t forget. Thank you so much for sharing! Feel free toe check our activities and stories out at

    1. littlebins Post author

      Thank you! I have been through your blog and also found a few great things. Glad to connect again! Marbles are a lot of fun and I bet we have some under the couch now.

    1. littlebins Post author

      Awesome. Thanks! I look forward to seeing it and linking up again in the morning or midnight!

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  11. Beth

    What fun marble ideas! I pinned =)

    Thanks for linking up and sharing your creativity at TGIF! I hope to see you linked up again later today.

    Have a GREAT weekend,
    Beth =)

  12. jackie@happyhooligans

    I LOVE this post. SO many fab learning activities going on here. Really love that you started off with a treasure hunt in the rice bin! Brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing on my page today!

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