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  • Writer's pictureAmy Godfrey

Creative Play Ideas - Marbled Paper Art

Sensory and creative play activities including many for those who are disabled and/or neurodivergent. This activity is well-suited to sensory seekers. To learn more about this check out my blog here.

Learning & Development

  • fine motor skills

  • boosts imagination,

  • improves social, play, communication and observation skills

  • sparks curiosity

  • develops hand-eye coordination

  • improves focus and attention

  • supports emotional regulation

  • turn-taking

  • stress-relief

  • fun!

  • & creates opportunities for CONNECTION

Senses stimulated: SIGHT, SMELL, SOUND & TOUCH


The great thing about Marbled Paper is not just that the act of making it is so fun, but that it is really quick to create, cost-effective on paint and you can do different things with the pretty paper you make.


Approximate preparation time: 10 minutes

Suggested minimum age: 3 years


What You Need:

Prepare your area!

+ Wipe clean tablecloths and floor sheets, especially if you are going to use acrylic paint and have carpet. Carpets don't like acrylic paint!

+ Shaving foam (not gel)

+ Watercolour paper or other heavy weight paper/card

+ Baking trays you don't mind getting painty - or wrap your food ones with foil to protect them

+ Acrylic, poster or watercolour paint in tubes. (Bear in mind acrylic does stain skin for a while and fabrics)

+ Little tubs/ramekins for the different colours.

+ A mixing tool like a spoon, chopstick or end of a paintbrush.

+ A blunt scraping tool like a palette knife, ruler, squeegee, paint scraper or even an old credit/store card!


How To Play:


+ Squirt shaving foam onto the baking tray to cover an area about the size of your paper/card. It doesn't need to be too thick a layer. Sensory Seeking Kids love this part in my experience! The noise of the foam coming out is so fun!

+ Add a small amount of acrylic or poster paints and swirl lightly to marble the paint and foam. If using watercolour from a tube, make sure it's only lightly diluted to get a good colour, if it's too watered down you'll dilute the foam, losing the marbling effect and the colour will be too faint to see.


+ Lay your paper over the top and gently press down.

+ Peel away the paper then lay on the wipe-clean cloth or another baking tray to scrape off the foam.

Ta-da! You can use the same tray of coloured foam for multiple sheets of paper and every time the result will be unique.




+ Try mixing complimentary, contrasting or clashing colours to see which you like best.

+ Leave to dry. In our experience it takes about half an hour to be dry enough to handle but I'd wait an hour before writing on it or cutting out.





+ When dry, the paper can be used to make greetings cards, thank you notes, letters, backgrounds for drawings (you'll need to use a marker or paint pen not pencil), cut-out art like the Notan-inspired art we did at Sonshine Art...




or the thing we do most often - make bookmarks!

Have fun!











To make them just cut your pages into strips, laminate then punch a hole in the top and add a tassel if you want.


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