Fun Printing Techniques for Kids

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Have you tried the Styrofoam print-making yet? Did you like it? Want to try more? Printmaking is very popular at our house and I can honestly say we have tried so many different ways to print that it is difficult to choose a favorite one. But we narrowed it to 5, that was do-able.

These wonderful, unique print-making techniques come from our favorite bloggers, make sure you check them out (and try them out)!

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Have you ever tried printing with gelatin? We have done this many times and the results are amazing. It is a wonderful way to talk about positive and negative space and to use these leaves and flowers your kids keep bringing home from their walks. Check out how to do this with Cassie.

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This has been my kids’ favorite thing to do. We have printed flowers, mandalas, robots, and many abstract patterns. We tried different play dough and clay… and it all works great. So simple! Thank you Filth Wizardry to share this amazing idea!

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This one is wonderful with yarn as well as rubber bands. Next year we are thinking about doing this as a collaborative art piece at our preschool or Kindergarten. I think the kids would love it and the parents may want to hang it on their walls! Check out this guest post by Steph to see how easy it is.

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Who would not like to print with a hammer, right? This is also a guaranteed crowd-pleaser! And the more flowers and leaves you have, the better. See how Build/make/craft/bake perfected this technique.

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And last but not least, printing with a plastic bag. We did it with little zip-lock bags and it worked really nicely. It is best for the more abstract pieces but it is so simple and fun that kids do not care they cannot capture all of their details. It is a really cool activity and a great way to show the kids how they can layer their pictures and how to plan the positive/negative space. See how it’s done by a professional at Alisa’s Redefine Creativity blog.

Andy Warhol, Pets and Printmaking

Andy Warhol was certainly a unique artist. The Factory,  Pop Art, his wig and crazy life-style… there are so many things one can talk about (or not like talking about). But when it comes to introducing his art to the kids, I believe his love for animals (especially his cats and his stuffed great Dane) are the easiest and the most fun way to go.

Of course, we need to print those images so that’s why I’d like to introduce:

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This is really fun and easy for the kids. You can purchase the Styrofoam plates (or use some of the ones you may have at home – from food items). Then you just need to use a pencil or wooden stylus to draw your picture (mirror image). Then spread some ink over it with a roller, put a piece of paper on top and use a roller to press down. Done.

You can learn the basics as well as some little-bit advanced option (like the one for the fish right here) in this short video.

I have taught this lesson in the 1st grade but to make it even more fun for the kid,s I asked them to bring their stuffed animal. We put them on a table and painted their portraits (just like Andy did with his stuffed dog). The results were really awesome! Each child made 4 prints onto 4 different-colored papers and we mounted them onto a large piece of paper. Here they are, what do you think?

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Of course you can use this technique and the lesson to print portraits of kids as well. One of our schools did an amazing job with self-portraits. They printed them on 6 colored papers and then cut them out and mounted them onto another colored papers. Easy and definitely fun to look at.

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Visit our gallery to see even more images and ideas!

If you want to teach this lesson to your kids, here are some links to get you started:

Easter Art, Craft and Science Ideas

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Visit our Pinterest board for Easter and spring-inspired recipes, games, crafts, art and more.

Happy Easter, everybody!

Have you decorated you eggs yet or are you, like our family, suddenly realizing your weekend is going to be busier than you thought?! In case you are still looking for some quick and fun ideas to spice up your holidays, you’ve come to the right place. These are some of our favorite Easter ideas from the previous years that we are planning to bring back to life on Saturday! Hope you can join us.

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These easy salt-and-watercolors eggs make a great Easter garland or wreath. You can also make flowers or butterflies like this. Easy, fun and kids love it. Here’s how to do it.

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See how you do this. You can either use a crayon to draw on a hot hard-boiled egg and watch it melt. Or you can shred the crayon, color your egg and roll it in the shredded wax before the egg cools down too much.

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I love Pisanky! And this melted-crayon above the muffin tin is as close as you can get with small kids. You still needs to be careful but it is not that difficult technique to masker. Here’s how to do it – and remember, you can always color the egg before or after you are done.

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And one more idea: the ultimate Easter science project: the naked egg! See how you can make it in just a couple of days. Just make sure you make more than one because the kids will love it and will be devastated it is breaks… (at least mine were).

Northern Lights Art Project

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This is now officially one of my favorite winter lessons. I created these pictures with first-graders in about 60 minutes and it went really well. We started talking about Ernst Kirchner and Expressionism. We noticed that he uses warm and cool colors and created a bold contrast in his work. So, we looked for warm and cool colors in other artists’ paintings, talked about how the colors make us feel, and what do they make us think of.

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Then, I showed them pictures of the Northern Lights and we talked about how we could paint them like Expressionists – focus on our emotion rather than reality and to exaggerate the colors and sharp lines:

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And of course, we had to add some animals that could see the Northern Lights (the first-graders are now talking about animals, habitats and are starting to explore the world on maps… so it tied nicely to their science lessons). We got everything: from polar bears and arctic hares to musk ox and a high-jumping killer whale.

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Top 5 Winter Landscapes – Art Projects for Kids

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Are you looking for more winter-landscapes ideas for your kids? We have put together some of our favorites from our favorite bloggers!

Here they are:

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Beautiful warm or cool trees in the snow:  http://sandbergsmartyarties.blogspot.com/2013/01/christmas-art.html

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Watercolor landscapes: http://arteascuola.com/2013/01/polar-landscapes/

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Birch trees in the snow: http://www.deepspacesparkle.com/2011/01/10/birch-trees-watercolor-lesson/

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3D North Pole in a box: http://janedavitt.dreamwidth.org/243233.html

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Stunning skies and hills with chalk: http://splishsplashsplatterart.blogspot.ca/2010/11/winter-landscapes.html

Do you have any other favorites?

January Issue: Kirchner and Winter Landscapes

January issue of arTree magazine is here! Have you checked it out yet? I will share some preview with you this week, for now here is a little sample of the projects:

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Don’t stay inside this winter! Explore snowy landscapes with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and German Expressionism. Play around with cool and warm colors to create dramatic contrast and make your landscape scenes like none other. Discover the art of Josef Kote and decorate your mountains with patterns out of lines and shapes. Fill your skies with colors that will make the Northern Lights fade with envy.

Visit the polar bears and the penguins. Learn why they can never meet each other and what they do to stay warm in such cold places. Research the polar bears with us to create your very own infographic poster. Then paint your polar bear under the stunning Aurora sky.

Dress up your penguin in a warm and cozy sweater and paint him on the South Pole–using several easy and fun watercolor secrets that we will share with you. Play games, learn facts and explore the great snowy outdoors.  

Watercolor techniques and Penguins

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Watercolors are always fun with the little ones. Especially, once you show them how to explore different watercolor techniques.

  • What happens when you paint with watercolors and then dab it with a paper towel before it dries?
  • What happens if you drop lemon onto the wet watercolors?
  • What if you put salt on the watercolor before it dries?
  • What if you crumble a plastic wrap onto the wet watercolor paper and leave it there until it dries (at least partly)?

Just make sure, the kids do not use too much. The piles of salt or the puddles of lemon juice sound like a good idea but they can destroy even the thickest watercolor paper.

If you are up to it, you can even fill the whole page with only one color, add a little painted (and cut out) penguin in a cute sweater and you have a South Pole scene that is refrigerator-worthy. Learn more in our January 2015 issue (coming out early next week).

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