I love printmaking with young children. We’ve been doing a ton of it around here lately. Check out our styrofoam prints here. Printmaking is a fun, simple process art activity that kids love. This week we used veggies for vegetable printmaking and it was a mega hit from toddlers to preschoolers to older kids. Here’s how we did it.
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I bought a bunch of cheap potatoes and carrots from the supermarket for starters. I know different people have different ideas about using food for play and art. If you are uncomfortable with this, than I invite you to try other things for printing, like forks, containers, corks, etc. There are lots of ways to do print stamping with kids. We used carrots and potatoes. The carrots are super easy for little hands to hold. Potatoes can be a bit more challenging, so I cut little handles to make it easy for little fingers to grab.
To make the potato holders, cut the potato in half. Rest the two halves flat side down on the table. From the top of the potato, make two slits with the knife about a half inch apart and about a half inch deep. Cut into the potato from the side to reach the slit. Gently remove the little cutout you made. They will look like an orange slice. You can use those for printing too.
I did this with several groups of kids and they were all successful. With one group, ages 3-5, I put out little pieces of paper they could take home with them. For other kids, more toddler age, I covered a table with my favorite butcher paper and let them go to town on the whole table. We used regular tempera paints for both. I like these paints a lot. Tip – If you use bigger objects or larger potatoes, than you will need bigger plates or bowls to put the paint. I realized that one after I cut a bunch of potatoes horizontally and I had already poured the paint into the tray. Oops.
I kind of thought the potatoes were as beautiful as the art itself. Or maybe the potatoes are the art? Who knows, who cares. Process art is the best.