87. Printmaking

Printing and stamping, whether with an old potato or more sophisticated printing apparatus, usually gives more dramatic and impactful results on paper than plain old painting. For this reason it’s always a hit with young children who gain a sense of achievement and pride in their print work.

But printing isn’t only about creating bold art, it’s an opportunity for children to explore the physical properties of the objects and natural world around them. Experimenting with different materials such as leaves and fruits, through to wood and rubber, helps them begin to understand everything from texture and weight to absorbency and surface area. It also helps them to understand the idea of mirror symmetry, how a print is the mirror image of the object they are printing with. All pretty fascinating concepts to a three-year-old.

As we always say, investing in the best materials you can afford will always give you a better result and encourage your child to keep going. Printing ink will give a bolder, brighter picture than poster paint, and heavyweight papers will better withstand the pressures of a zealous young printer. But don’t let that stop you printing with anything you can get your hands on, including fingers and toes.

About The Author