We have been printing with bubble wrap at a few of our sessions at the DCA these last few weeks so we thought we’d post some instructions. This is a really easy and fun art activity that any age will manage with a little help.
Brushes, sponges or rollers
Start by sticking the bubble wrap to the table, to the floor or to a high chair tray with tape. This will stop it sliding about as little ones paint it. Then you can help them to drip on the paint and spread it about. Brushes are fine but it’s easier with sponges or rollers, or even just hands.
Once it’s all covered, place a sheet of paper on top and help little ones to rub all over the back of it and peel off.
We thought it looked a bit like dinosaur scales and so I cut out some very basic dinosaur shapes to press the pattern on to.
This would work with pretty much anything you can think of and cut out though. At DCA we were printing onto big cardboard spheres to make hanging decorations inspired by David Austen’s Underworld exhibition.
Last week we were marbling with shaving foam at the Dundee International Women’s Centre so we thought we’d post some instructions so you can try it at home. This one is very easy and lots of fun – and surprisingly easy to clean up as the foam just washes away. There are lots of steps where little ones can help depending on how old they are. If they are too little to be allowed to squirt the foam then they can still help drip the paint and definitely help to stir it about and rub over the paper. It’s a nice surprise at the end when the final marbling is revealed and this is a nice thing to share together.
a baking tray
an old plastic credit card/store card
shaving foam (not gel)
water based paints
Thick, absorbent paper (thin paper will rip when you scrape off the foam)
First squeeze the shaving foam into a shallow tray like a baking tray or the lid of a biscuit tin. Then use the credit card to spread it out nice and smooth (big people probably need to do that bit)
Now help them to drip some water based paint all over the top of the foam. You can also do this using food colouring but it’s quite stainy so I prefer to stick to washable paint. That way little ones can do it too.
Then the best bit. Give little ones a chop stick or old pencil and let them swirl around in the paint until it makes a nice pattern but before the colours all blend together (don’t do too much or it all goes a bit brown!). They can experiment with the effects of making circles or going up and down in lines.
Now press a sheet of paper on top of the foam and they can help you rub all over the top to make sure it absorbs. Then peel back to reveal…..
…a foamy mess!!! But don’t worry. Scrape off the foam using the credit card and underneath will be a beautiful swirling marble pattern – just like you’d find in the front on a fancy old book. You can let this dry and then use it to cut up and make cards, cover jotters, line drawers etc etc. Or just stick it on the wall and marvel at how cool it is! And the left over foam needn’t go to waste. Slap it all back into the tray, spread it out and start again. You can get at least 3 or 4 prints from each lot of foam before it gets too murky.
This activity is nice because it combines some sensory play using the foam with some creative play with the paint. It’s also nice that it needs some help from a big person so there are lots of opportunities for turn taking and working together. If you have left over foam you can also do as my little one does and turn your trucks into snow ploughs!
We were playing with salt dough clay today with the lovely mums and babies at the Dundee International Women’s Centre. Here is the recipe if you’d like to try making your own at home. Try letting the little ones join in with the measuring and mixing.
1 cup of plain flour
mixed with 1/2 cup of salt
then 1/2 cup of warm water added gradually.
Mix then kneed to get a nice smooth consistency. Super simple! If I’m not using it right away I rub some oil on the outside to keep it nice and smooth and wrap it up with cling film. You can also double up the recipe if you need more (or x10 if you are doing a whole group like me!)
The dough will be nice for making models, doing handprints or cutting out with biscuit cutters or play dough tools. Once you have your shapes pop them on a baking tray in a warm oven (about 80c) to dry out for several hours, depending on how thick they are, until cooked through (check the back isn’t still squishy). You can then paint them and decorate as you chose. If you want to keep them nice you can also varnish them once the paint is dry.
This is a nice activity as it gives a different texture for children to feel as a change from all the paint. If you kneed it for a while in your hands first it will feel nice and warm and smooth so most little ones like it. There is the fun of mixing it as well as the fun making and you can do some nice handprints to keep before letting them go free on the rest of the dough. Although this is made from food stuff obviously don’t let them eat it as it is so salty.
We are going to paint ours at our next session. We also made some lovely hand and footprints, which make a great keepsake.
If, like us, you seem to collect lots of cardboard boxes, don’t just recycle them, use them for some painting first. The bigger the better so get ordering washing machines! We went with a train as we have a Thomas fan but you could easily turn them into a castle, or a car, or a submarine or a space ship………..Creations that little ones can play with by going in and out are the most fun. Make spaces to sit in or maybe some doors to open. That will give the opportunity for loads of fun interactive play.
Little ones will probably need quite a lot of help with the building part so it’s a nice chance to get stuck in there. Make sure you follow their lead though and encourage them to show you how they want it to look. It is lovely for them to see something from their imagination become reality.
Once it’s time for the painting part you can let them go crazy. Use water based and washable paint that is baby safe in case they have a lick and make sure you put lots of plastic or newspaper all over the floor cos this one gets really messy. Maybe some children who feel a bit nervous starting with a big white page will feel more confident to get creative when it’s already just rubbish. And children who don’t think they like to draw or paint might like this idea as it includes the element of construction.