Roller painting using cardboard rollers

Roller painting using cardboard rollers


Themes: Under the ground, shapes, colours, five senses, hands, the sea and water ( use as a water background), transport ( wheels and things that move). This technique can be adapted to be used with many themes buy changing the colour of the paint or the shape of the paper. Example: Autumn leaves cut from orange, yellow and red rolled paper.

You will need:

  • Firm cardboard rollers
  • Paper
  • Paint – 2 or 3 colours and white
  • Teaspoons



The children really enjoyed this activity especially the boys. I did the activity with the 4-6 year olds but with a small group and supervision the 3-4 year olds would manage this activity too. This is an excellent gross motor painting activity strengthening the fingers at the same time, It is important that you use firm cardboard rolls otherwise they will flatten when you roll them and disintegrate with the paint wetting the cardboard.

I found it worked best to drop blobs of paint on the paper using the teaspoons.


Then roll the cylinders through the paint adding more as you need.  DSCN4829


Be aware of your children who are excessive with paint as they tend to make the paper very wet with too much paint. Initially I thought it would be effective for the children to roll the cylinders in paint on flat plates but it was clumsy, so I switched to dropping blobs of paint instead. We were creating paper to cut seaweed for an under water display so I chose to use greens, blues and I added white which created a lovely effect of light and dark colours.


Seaweed display using the painted paper

DSCN4852 DSCN4853

Using the paper for pretend sea with plastic dolphins


Subject: Life Skills 
Study area: Creative arts
Create in 2D
• Drawing and painting using the week’s topic
• Painting: use pre-mixed tempera paint or coloured inks or dyes in primary and secondary colours to respond to the week’s topic
•  Simple printmaking techniques to create informal pattern
•  Use colour to create pattern

Create in 3D (constructing)
• Fine-motor and sensory co-ordination: (eye-hand-mind) manipulation of scissors and other tools and equipment.
•  Encourage development of skills through manipulation of the materials

Integration: Subject: Home language
Skill: Handwriting
• Uses a range of writing tools e.g. paint brushes, wax crayons etc.
• Develops eye- hand co-ordination through play e.g. drawing and painting



One response to “Roller painting using cardboard rollers

  1. thank you for the activity there realy inspire me

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