Or, actually, printmaking with a toddler, since I only have one toddler.
Printmaking is one of my favorite “Fine Art” forms, particularly block carving. I had two phenomenal printmaking professors in college, to whom I credit my love of the medium. Since my little guy is not even three, it isn’t yet time to pull out the carving tools, but he is always game to try a new art form so I thought it was time to introduce simple printmaking. We’ve been doing rubber stamping for a while, but this was “real” printmaking. For this project we used the print foam you can draw on with a ballpoint pen or stylus, then the foam (your printing plate) is inked up, and you use pressure (in this case your hand, not a printing press) to transfer the image to your paper. G loved this project! Since I try to do projects in tune with the season and we FINALLY got some snow, I had him draw snowflakes (he added in some snowballs, too). I love the results and want to frame one or two.
Supplies: Brayer (roller), Printing ink (I like Speedball water soluble block printing ink), printing foam (or styrofoam plate with the rim cut off so it is flat), stylus or ballpoint pen, paper
Here are the steps:
Step One: Toddler uses pen to draw design on print foam. In this case, snowflakes and snowballs. Abstract images are lovely (and expected with this age)! You may need to go back over your child’s lines so they are deep enough (but don’t push through the plate).
Step Two: Roll out the ink! This is a fun step (although they are all fun, so what am I saying?) The noise the ink makes when it is ready is this lovely sticky sound that made G ask “what’s that good noise?”
Step Three: Use the brayer (the rolly thing you rolled your ink out with) to apply ink to your printing plate (the foam sheet your tot drew on). Make sure there is ink all over, all the way to the edges. You’ll need to help with this step.