- Prepare an art center with Styrofoam trays, printing ink or paint, rollers, paper, and a mixture of tools and materials that create imprints, such as:
- Legos and game pieces
- Pen and marker caps
- Recycled items that provide a thick imprint edge
- Drawing tools such as pencils, plastic forks and clay tools, and wooden dowels
- Provide a flat Styrofoam surface for each child.
- Demonstrate how to make a deep indention in the plate using various materials listed above. The indention must be deep for it to work well.
- Using a roller, apply a layer of ink on to the Styrofoam surface.
- Lay a piece of paper on top of the inked Styrofoam surface.
- Using a small clean roller (the classroom block center is a great place to find the perfect size for this project), roll over the top of the clean paper.
- Gently remove the paper to reveal the image. Following the demonstration, allow for children’s open exploration of these materials to create patterns and reveal different textures.
- What shapes or patterns do you notice when you reveal the print?
- Which items make prints of shapes such as circles or squares? How can you use these to make a pattern?
- How do the lines change depending on how hard you press down on the materials?
- What changes do you notice when you print the same plate twice or three times?
TIP: The top of a “to go” box, or small Styrofoam lunch tray will make a perfect flat printing plate.