STREAM Activity: Can Art

Get ready to shake and make art!

Activity best for children age 2 and up

Making art is a fun and creative way to express yourself. Artists make art in many different ways. Painting is one art form that artists are inspired to use to express how they feel about the world around them. Some artists paint with brushes, some use colored pencils, some use chalk and some artists splatter paint. Paintings can be small so that they fit in your hand or can be huge like wall sized! How do you like to make art? Do you have a favorite way to be creative? Today we are going to be creative with paint, beans, paper and a container! How do you think we will use these materials? Hint there is going to be a lot of shaking going on! Get ready to shake and make art!

Materials you’ll need:


Dry beans 

Empty can or jar with tight fitting lid 


Guiding Questions:

What do you think will happen when you shake the can?

If you mix certain colors together will you make a new color?

If I shake the can really fast, will it change how my art looks? Slow?


Cut paper to the size of the container.

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Place the paper inside the container. Add a few drops of different colored paint to the bottom of the container and place the beans on top of the paint.

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Put the lid on the can and make sure it is on tight. Now start shaking the can! Shake fast! Shake slow!

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When you think you are done shaking take the lid of the can and ask a grown up to help take the paper out. What do you see on the paper? Place the paper on a tray to dry and then admire your art.

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Grown ups, are you looking for more ways to extend your child’s learning? Check out these extension activities to build upon today’s STREAM activity!

Reading Connection
Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet
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Math Connections
How many beans did you use in making your art? What happens if you use more or less beans? If you use bigger items, like marbles, will that change how your artwork looks?