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.

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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:

Happy Earth Day!

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Happy Earth Day, everybody!

Sometimes the simplest things are the best, like these toilet paper rolls by my Little Artists (inspired by Wassily Kandinsky).

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I gave the 3-year-olds some paint (primary colors and black), watercolor paper, paper rolls and 20 minutes. The amazing pictures above are the results. I love how different they are. Some kids kept it very neat and clean, others made a messy, overlapping art and one boy even used the paper roll to color all of the circles.

And the best part? Sometimes the tempera paint made a huge bubble and it popped on the artwork. The kids love that! I mean, who wouldn’t, right?!