Art Group – Wednesday, January 4

Happy New Year, Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library!

Wednesday, January 4th, marked our first day open following the holiday break, and visitors showed up in droves to celebrate. As you can see from the photo above, not a cubby or hook went unclaimed, as coats, scarves, hats, gloves, backpacks, and all necessary gear spilled out on to the bench and floor of the storage area.

Amidst the hubbub, the Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group had their first session of the new year. And what better to ring in the craziness than a roomful of kids and parents and a bunch of loose, paint-covered marbles?

We did marbling once before, back in October, where white paint-covered marbles made spooky, lovely cobwebs on black construction paper. This time we went a little more freeform, with several colors to choose from and array of marble sizes. Put the paper in the box, add some paint and marbles, and get shaking.

So many options for colors and so many marbles yield…

… endless variations. The possibilities are half the fun, as is the ease in which kids can see their pictures take shape. All it takes is a few marbles, some paint, and a minute of shaking, and they’ll have a pile of brand new masterpieces for the fridge.

If you end up with a few too many pieces of art, just remember that re-use is the best way for your kids’ work to live on. Marble paintings make great gift wrap, or laminate the paintings for easy placemats or coasters.

As neat as the paintings come out, the tactile component is key: Not only does handling the marbles and paint allow kids to explore different textures, picking up, dropping, and rolling around the marbles is a great way to exercise children’s growing dexterity and coordination.

Young children will need assistance with marbling, so this is a great activity for parents and kids to do together. Help them with the marbles and with shaking the box, but make sure they also handle the tools and have a hand in moving the marbles around on the paper.

Between Art Group and the first day back, was fun, frenzied morning at PTLL. Welcome, 2012!

Toddlers, Twos and Threes Art Group meets every Wednesday at 10 am and is open to all members and visitors (with paid admission to PTLL’s playspace). The group is run by Megan Spak and Elisabeth Moyer.


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