Check out over twenty fun and easy ideas for printing with kids!
What exactly is printmaking?
Printmaking is one of my very favorite art processes to explore with kids. Printing covers a huge variety of processes and materials- lots of which you already have!
Printmaking is an artistic process that involves transferring an image from one surface (a matrix) to another, often paper or fabric. Explore a few different varieties of the printmaking process that are perfect for kids!
Best first printing for kids experience…
This found object printing is perhaps the most basic printmaking for kids process I’ll show you but also one of the most fun!
Go on a treasure hunt and gather up some unique shaped objects and begin printing! I’ll also show you how to simplify this process by using only one color of paint to print and adding color later!
Explore two different ways to build your own robots through the printmaking process. Choose to start printing with kids using a collection of boxes, spools, and other found objects or Lego.
Printmaking with an emphasis on texture…
Use scraps of wood and washable markers to explore the element of texture. Then use the resulting prints to “build” an architectural collage.
Make your own stamps….
Stamping is one of the simplest forms of printmaking for kids to explore. Try this DIY stamp made from puffy paint and up-cycled wine corks.
Print your own pet portraits…
This printmaking process for kids involves drawing on a slick surface with a washable marker and transferring the drawing to a second paper.
Kids can trace an image or draw their own original drawing for printing. Add colors with marker or crayon!
Psst… this same process can be used with any subjects, not just pets.
Printing for kids using styrofoam…
We all know that styrofoam isn’t exactly environmentally friendly but it’s definitely a material that is easy to up-cycle and give another use.
Styrofoam is perfect for a very basic form of relief printing for kids to explore. Instead of “carving” away material the Styrofoam is soft enough to be depressed down by drawing with a dull pencil. Only the remaining high areas of the image will print.
Linoleum printing for kids…
Linoleum printing is a process best reserved for kids on the older elementary through middle school aged because it does require using a sharp carving tool to carve away the linoleum material.
Once your kids have a bit of experience with linoleum printing try this fun portrait printing lesson. You’ll want some fun selfie pics to start this lesson with!
Crayon printmaking for kids….
Use crayons and sandpaper for a printmaking project that’s suitable for any age. Focus on texture or color with these graphic prints!
This collograph style printmaking process is a super fun way to focus on building patterns. Create patterns by repeating simple objects or basic cut paper shapes.
Printing with plants…..
These rainbow leaf prints are some of my favorite printing projects ever. They’re vibrant and beautiful. And they’re so quick your kiddos will want to make a whole stack of them!
Make a printed leaf mandala…
Use watercolor paints and a variety of leaves from your yard to create a mandala design.
Washable marker leaf prints…
This leaf printing project is a great open ended invitation to creating with nature. Washable markers make this an easy printmaking process to explore with even very young artists!
Prints with connection….
Printmaking has a rich history with connections to many cultures.
Create your own Adinkra stamps using craft foam and tempera paint!
Print your own kente cloth…
Celebrate the art of the kente cloth by creating this DIY paper version. Printmaking is just one step of this multilayered project.
Rubber band prints for kids…
Create bold prints using rubber bands wrapped around boxes. These look especially sophisticated when layered, one print on top of another.
Mono printing with kids…
Mono printing is a style of printing that results in a single print. I love this type of printmaking with kids because it’s speedy and spontaneous. It’s fun to make a stack of prints!
Create mono prints with a foil printing plate and tempera paint with this process!
Floating chalk prints allow for so much action and participation. They make a great group activity- especially if you can create in the out of doors!