As a young teacher I learned quickly to praise the efforts of young children’s art, rather than the final product, which may or may not be easily identifiable! I find great beauty in the MESS of preschool art, do you? Sometimes art is more about the process than the end product. This Rainbow Bouncy Ball Painting project is one of those!

Rainbow Process Art Activity

Recommended Grade Level:

Rainbow Process Art Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Shallow Cake Pan
  • Paint – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple
  • Bouncy Balls
  • Glitter or Confetti-optional

Rainbow Bouncy Ball Process Art for Preschool is a great project to celebrate color in early childhood. You can use it to learn colors and explore color mixing. The great thing about process art vs. product art is just letting young children explore in ways that make sense to THEM, not US!

Close up of the rainbow bouncy ball process art activity.

How Process Art Experiences Support Preschoolers

Arts and crafts plays a large role in early childhood development because it encourages development in so many areas. Kids art allows children to explore and create, problem solve, build fine motor strength and dexterity, and improve social and emotional skills.

One of the benefits of process art activities is that children can focus on exploration and self expression. When you don’t have to worry about a finished product looking a certain way, your mind becomes free to create.

Process vs. product art in preschool teaches children that art is about creating something that is unique to you. It doesn’t have to look like everyone else’s project in order to be labeled as “good.”

Let your students reap the benefits of process art for preschoolers with encouraging words and questions about their process.

“Tell me about what you made.”

“I like how you used color/lines/shapes.”

“Would you do anything differently next time?”

“What do you like about your project?”

The supplies for the rainbow bouncy ball process art activity.

How to Make Rainbow Bouncy Ball Art


Place a sheet of paper inside the cake pan.
Pour about a quarter size amount of each paint color onto the paper.

Spots of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple paint in a tray with bouncy balls beneath them.

Add the optional glitter or confetti.
Place the bouncy balls inside the pan.

Close up of the colors being mixed during the rainbow bouncy ball process art.

Carefully lift the cake pan to dip the balls through the paint. Then, tilt the pan to roll the balls all around. Choose to tilt the pan sideways, forward, backward, or in a circular motion to get the desired paint effect.

Close up of the finished rainbow bouncy ball process art activity.

*The bouncy ball(s) will move around inside the cake pan, creating cool designs.

*Add additional paint or glitter/confetti if necessary to create more patterns.

More Preschool Process Art Ideas

Process-based art projects are beautiful in their simplicity to plan! It’s not difficult to set up easy process art for preschoolers. Think about creating an art center stocked with art materials, then let your kids go wild (within reason of course)!

Some art mediums to consider include:

  • Watercolor painting
  • Paper cutting
  • Paper ripping
  • Collage
  • 3D materials (ie., paper tubes, chenille stems, buttons, beads, yarn)

Then just sit back and watch as your students explore the process and products of art.

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

rainbow bouncy ball painting process art for kids

We now have interactive thematic lesson plans for preschoolers (3-5 years)! Get ready for fun and learning with unit lesson plans for your Color theme. Explore a variety of themed hands-on activities! Easy to follow lesson plans include activity modifications and adaptations to meet the needs of all learners. For more information, click on the graphics below:

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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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