Printing with Young Children

Printing is a wonderfully creative experience to explore with children.  Be it prints from found objects or nature or carved designs children delight in watching the original image appear on a different surface or with printing ink or paint.  One of the easiest ways to print with young children is to go on a nature hunt finding leaves and flowers of different sizes, textures and shapes, painting and pressing onto paper.  Children can arrange leaves to construct a composition – landscapes, people, animals and fantasy creatures.  When dry armed with a sharpie or oil pastel new art can emerge.

Alternatively, in the spirit of eco-art, we collect lots of styrofoam plates and packaging destined for landfill and use the humble biro to stratch in a design.  This technique is suitable for the smallest of hands.  Once image is cratched in quite deeply, I like to use a rubber roller and printing quality ink to ink up and print on paper.

Acetate sheets or hard plastic sheets are also great, with a needle point tool scratch in design, ink and print on paper.    Thumb prints are also lots of fun and great for making your own narrative.  Eraser prints are worth trying by simply carving lines and patterns into an eraser, press onto a stamp pad and print away.

Leaf Man is a great story to inspire your thoughts.

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