We've been messing around with magnets recently; Buba got a cool set for Christmas and now we are forever learning what is magnetic. I decided this week to incorporate this into a paint project for the boys, the good news, this is a relatively mess free project as all the paint stays in the tray — or it should.
You will need:
Foil tray or baking sheet
marbles — we used glass and metal just to see the difference
Tape a piece of paper into the tray and add a blob of paint to the middle of the paper.
Place a metal/magnetic marble in the center of the tray. Lift the tray up and have your child use the large magnet to move the marble around the picture. This proved harder for us as I was trying to snap a few pics while the boys took turns holding the tray. This just wasn't happening, they both wanted the magnet so we had 2 balls and magnets rolling around and then they discovered they could steal each others marbles. They really enjoyed seeing how the magnet could move the paint around the tray.
When we added the glass marble they saw how their magnet had no effect, until they tipped the tray but still fun.
The pictures left some really cool patterns too but this is definitely a process art project.