I am a big fan of dollar stores. I was in one the other day and saw these cool spiky rubber balls at the check out counter. I immediately thought that they would be fun to paint with so despite the fact that they did light up and make a noise when bounced...I took a risk.
We cut paper to put in trays we had. We filled low dishes with various colors of tempera paint and put a ball in each color.
The children wrote their names on the paper and then flipped it over to paint. They chose a ball, rolled it around in the paint and then put it on the tray.
Then they angled the tray in various directions to paint with the balls.
Of course, some of them discovered the fun of painting with more than one ball at a time.;-)
As they rolled and painted, they noticed the dotted patterns the balls made and how the colors overlapped and sometimes mixed.
They experimented with directionality as they tried to control the ball and get it to move to the white parts of the paper
The paintings gave way to a great deal of discussion of the various kinds of marks the balls made on the paper from splots to dots to swishes. The activity was out all week allowing children to return to it again and again to try out new methods and repeat their initial discoveries in order to build upon the experience.
And...it wasn't until the very last day, that a few children noticed the noise and lights that the balls could produce. Very little attention was paid to this as the act of painting captured their interest even more.
One note: sometimes the balls do roll off the trays, so make sure to do this activity above a washable surface such as tile or linoleum. Our table is near a carpet, so we covered that edge of the carpet with a drip cloth while the activity was taking place.