Roller Ball Painting

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This is an activity in which learners explore the effects of gravity, motion and momentum while creating art. By rolling a golf ball in paint, placing construction paper in a tray, tilting the tray and moving the golf ball around, learners will experience and experiment with color, motion and gravity. Raising or lowering any side of the tray creates an inclined plane affecting the speed of the ball. Learners can see the effect of friction (the paint) and how it slows the ball; the more paint, the slower the rolling. The final painting creates a visual representation of their exploration.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 6

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Construction Paper
  • Golf Balls
  • Tempera Paint
  • Bowls
  • Plastic Spoons
  • Tinfoil Trays
  • Crayons
  • Smocks
  • Scissors


  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access