An adult needs to do some preliminary gluing, but then it’s time to turn the kids loose! This activity has a tendency to get a bit messy from all the excitement, so it’s best to put down a paint tarp to catch paint splatter.
An old CD, a marble, marker top, glue gun, squeezable paint, a large container or box, a paint tarp
1. Hot glue a marble to a CD at the center hole (an adult’s job).
2. Flip the CD over and hot glue a marker cap to the CD (an adult’s job). Let both sides dry.
3. Place a large container on the floor. A plastic bin or cardboard box work well.
4. Begin to spin one of the tops in the container.
5. As it is spinning, squeeze paint on the top and watch the color spin and fly outward.
6. Continue adding different colors and watch the patterns of splattered paint emerge as well as the path the tops take in the container.
Try spin art with a sibling. Have one person spin the tops and the other squeeze the paint. Keep paper towels handy to wipe off the marker cap handle if it gets slippery with paint. Or you can hot glue a marker through the hole in the CD. As the top spins, the marker tip will draw its path!
THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT:
Did you know this project combines science, technology and art? Betcha didn’t know how much you were actually learning while you were playing! When an object spins there is a force that pushes away from the center. This is called centrifugal force. When you drop paint on the spinning top, it lands on the CD and flies outward away from the center. That’s the science portion. Technology is when you apply science to make a tool or device to help you do something. By making your own top, you just created a painting tool! This painting tool lets you distribute paint in all directions from a center point. And finally, action painting is a style of art that focuses on applying paint to a canvas but not worrying about the final picture. All that matters is making marks that are the result of real movement.
Sponsored by National Grid.
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