Create Your Own Print Blocks

dscn0368For a great creative art activity in your preschool, consider print-making.  You can create these texture print blocks in a matter of minutes.  It’s quick and easy! 

Take a few wood blocks, about 3 or 4 inches on each side.  I used leftover MDF, used for finish trim in our house, but you could use other wood boards as long as they are sanded smooth.  MDF is great because it is already smooth.   Buy a length of trim from Home Depot, or even better, you can sometimes ask if they have any remnants and they’ll give it to you or sell it to you at a bargain. 

Once you have cut, smooth blocks, create a texture on the blocks.  I used left over window screen material on a few; just wrapped it and stapled it with a staple gun.  I created others using thick twine, wrapped around the blocks in different patterns, some with knots, and secured with staples.  You could glue on fabric, sponges, packing bubbles, or anything your mind can dream up that might provide a unique texture when printed.  You can even include the children in this process of making the blocks!  Provide them with a variety of textures, and allow them to choose which ones will be attached to the blocks.  Including them in this process would enhance their sensory skills as well as their language skills as they verbalize what textures they are feeling and what kind of a print each one may make.

To use, provide shallow containers of tempera paint.  I’ll often use the plastic lids from Cool Whip containers.  The children can dip the print blocks and then transfer the design to their art papers.  If the paint is coming on too thick, consider using foam sponges saturated in paint, similar to an ink pad.  Or, you could use foam rollers to roll the paint onto the blocks.

Print making is a great creative experience!  Particularly for those children who are not often drawn to more complex art projects, print making is fairly quick and easy.  It requires small motor skills to grasp and manipulate the blocks, as well as to control the amount of paint that is picked up as it is dipped.  Cognitive skills are also incorporated as the children hypothesize as to what kind of print each texture will create.

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Filed under Create, Learning through Play and Experience, supplies

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