Early Years Printing

This week toddler group was cancelled due to the snow – and boy is it snowing today. So, this is an activity I ran with the group two years ago.

I was interested to see how the children got on with printing by dipping shapes into paint and dabbing onto paper. I used A3 paper this week to give the children a large area to make their pictures.

Ready mixed paint: red, green, blue, yellow and white
Finger Dip Bowls
A3 sugar paper in a variety of colours
Polystyrene cubes
Kitchen roll tube cut down to 1/3
Slim cardboard tube
Bowl for washing hands

Different coloured sugar paper was set round the table so the children could choose which colour they wanted to work on. I like the children to have to make as many choices as possible so they can gain confidence in this.

Two three-year-old boys came over and were excited to play with the kitchen rolls. One of the boys tried sticking the rolls and cubes together with paint and found it didn’t work very well – but good experimenting. They soon got into rolling a tube in paint and then rolling it onto the paper creating some wonderful effects.

One young lad seemed quite perplexed by having to have an apron on but he was happier once he had taken it off. I do like the children to get into the habit of wearing an apron when at the art table but some just won’t. It’s up to their mums then to decide if they can do the activity – they have to wash the clothes after all.

An eighteen-month-old boy spent a long time making his picture. He concentrated very hard on what he was doing and was curious about how the paint felt on his hands.

One girl liked to print the same colour paint as the paper. She had great fun carefully applying the blue paint with a polystyrene cube to the paper. She was clearly loving the feel of the paint as she spread it about.

One two-year-old girl discovered how to make pink by mixing white and red.

One three-year-old girl painted with a cork and scraped a pattern into the paint with the corner of a cube. She painted a seaside picture with sea, towels and sunshine. Her second piece was more abstract as she was experimenting with the sides and ends of the tubes.

Assessment of Activity:

This was a very successful activity – it engaged the children, gave them plenty of choices to make so they could be creative. Most of the children who took part did more than one picture.

Even though this is an activity where process is focus what was produced was really wonderful and specific to each child. So why not try giving your children a variety of colours and materials to print with – I’m sure they’ll come up with some fantastic pictures and have a really great time experimenting with colour, techniques and materials.

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