Learning at Home: Art in a Can Activity

Preschool girl painting

What You Need

  • Empty can with lid (coffee, Pringles, or powdered formula can)
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Round object (golf ball, small wiffle ball, or marble)

How to Do this Activity

Help your child fit the paper into the can so that it lines the inside (you may have to cut it). Then, drop some paint into the can, along with the round object. Put the lid on and seal it with tape.

Ask your child, “How can you make the ball move inside the can?” Then have him carefully shake, roll, swirl, drop, and throw the can. When he’s done, open it up and take the paper out to see the designs!

What Your Child Learns

Through this activity, children explore several science concepts, including cause and effect, gravity, and motion. Additionally, they're doing some deep thinking: they're making predictions about what they think might happen based on previous experiences, and they're trying various techniques and observing the results.

Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Preschool girl painting