Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Apple printing

It's my Grandmother's birthday this week, and I decided it would be nice to send her a picture painted by Alice. I thought we'd have a go at potato prints, but we ate our last potato yesterday (we aren't as impoverished as that sounds, our veg box is due to arrive tomorrow!). I raided the fruit bowl and found a rather sad looking apple that was going to become a crumble. Looks like it had a higher purpose!

Here are my top tips for potato (or apple!) printing with a toddler.

Get prepared Use a wipe clean floor or a large shower curtain taped to the carpet, and have a damp cloth close at hand. Make sure you and your little artist are wearing clothes that can get a little painty.

Make the printing blocks the right size They need to be be chunky enough to make a good clear print, but not too big for little hands to hold. About 7cm across is probably a good guide.

Keep the paper still Stick the paper to the floor with tape. I'd suggest using a few sheets of paper or one big one, as toddlers like lots of room to work with.

Model how to do it After some initial goes of smearing the apple around the page, I showed Alice how to bash the apple down and pull it straight up. She enjoyed hearing the sound it made, and we got some quite effective prints.

Use a range of colours It looks lovely to have more than one colour per print. You could also try adding a little glitter.

Relax! As with all art with small children (or anyone really) don't worry if it doesn't fit your idea of a good picture. If they are happier smearing paint around rather than making clear prints, let them. It's all about them enjoying themselves and experimenting. This is their picture. Have your own piece if you want to get creative, but allow them to find their own way.

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