Spin Art: Discovery at Home


  • Paper plate.
  • Box (choose a box that is larger than the paper plate).
  • Pencil.
  • Various colored paints. 


  1. Cut a hole in the middle of your paper plate.
  2. Cut a hole in the middle of your box.
  3. Poke pencil through the hole in the paper plate and through the hole in the box so that the pencil stands straight up and the paper plate is above the box.
  4. Pour 2-4 different colored paints onto the paper plate.
  5. Use your hand to help spin the plate, while repeatedly grabbing the edge of the plate and quickly rotating the plate.
  6. See how the paint will begin to spread out over the plate and drip into the box.
  7. Leave the paper plate above the box to dry.

Ways to expand it:

  • If you have a helper, have them spin the plate while you add paint with a paint brush or markers. Pressing a paint brush or markers lightly on the paper plate while the plate is spinning can create circles.
  • Make predictions! How far will the paint splatter? Will the colors mix together? Does adding water to the paint change your results?


What kids learn:

  • Fine motor skills. Kids practice using the small muscles in their hands later used for writing.
  • Experimentation! When kids experiment, they're learning how to learn. Failure is an important part of experimenting, so it is valuable to let kids try things that won’t work. It’s how they figure things out!


  • Inertia: The resistance of an object to change its motion or direction. Your paint will stay on the plate until a force, like spinning the plate, acts to make it move, then it will keep moving until friction or another object slows it down.
  • Force: energy caused by a push or a pull, in this case, the push created by the movement of your plate
  • Newton’s First Law of Motion: Every object will continue moving at the same speed or remain still unless something makes it change.
  • Centrifugal force: the apparent force felt by an object moving in a curved path that acts outwardly away from the center of rotation.