A simple drawing looks extra-special with this at-home printing activity, which can turn your child's doodles of animals or little creatures into beautiful, colorful prints to hang at home, or give away to friends and family.
The finished prints will be a colorful addition to your classroom or home gallery.
Here's What You'll Need
- recycled foam trays from the grocery store to use as a printing surface
- a covered surface that can get inky
- block printing ink or water-based tempera paint
- brayers or foam rollers
- paint scrapers to spread the ink on the tray
- a ballpoint pen or stylus to impress your doodle into the foam
- printing paper cut to size— any construction paper, copy paper, or drawing paper will work.
- Optional: transfer paper and masking tape to transfer doodles to the plates
- Optional: printing press (you could hand print if you do not have access to a press)
How to Do This Project
Step 1: First, have your child make a drawing of an animal or creature. Next, sandwich transfer paper between your child's doodle and the foam plate. With a ballpoint pen, have your child trace the doodle — doing this makes marks appear on the foam plate. Tip: tape the stack together to keep it from moving as your child works.
Step 2: Once the outline of your child's doodle has been transfered to the foam, remove the transfer paper and copy paper. Have your child press the ballpoint pen into the foam to make a deep mark. Warn your child not to press too hard, since it can break through to the back of the foam.
Step 3: Set up an inking station area to work with the printing press. You can use several colors, or just use black or white ink on colored paper to keep it simple.
Step 4: Have your child roll a brush through the paint. Then, have your child paint onto the foam outline of the doodle.
Step 5: Next, use the printing press. If you don't have a printing press (of course, few of us do), your child can hand press her print by rubbing the back of the paper with her hands or the back of a wooden spoon. Here's how the finished print looks:
Take a look at some of the beautiful prints from when we did this project in the Eric Carle Studio: