Tuesday, July 20, 2010

printmaking in preschool (without the print)

I have posted previously about the simple steps involved in creating beautiful prints using tiles, paint and paddlepop sticks.

I love these photographs of one of our youngest children enjoying her first foray into print making.  I think they illustrate beautifully how a three year old approaches a new art experience:

Applying the paint to the tile. 
Layer upon layer upon layer!

Making marks in the paint using a paddlepop stick.
Quickly abandoned.

I wonder what will happen if I use this empty paint pot instead?

Or what if I try my finger?

Or my hands?

And the end result?
Not a print in sight.
Just glorious green paint covered hands.

A wonderful reminder that it is not the final outcome of the experience that matters as much as how the child arrives there.


  1. Process before product. Always, always, process first :-)

  2. I love the experimentation and exploration. (And that's QUITE a color!)

  3. It is bright isn't it Scott!

  4. This looks like s lot of fun...and I love the dirt patch. (my boy would love it)!

  5. At some point, every art project we do that involves paint, becomes a version of fingerpainting! Last week we covered our gate in handprints. The parents thought I'd planned it as an art project, but it was purely spontaneous.

  6. The thing I most love about sensory children like this little girl is the 'hypnotic type trance' that takes them over as the experience evolves.
    We are planning on doing a similar kind of printing this week and I guarantee we still have a number of five years olds who will enjoy the exact same experience ... and funnily enough I reckon they will also be little girls!
    Donna :) :)

  7. looks like she had a lot of fun exploring printmaking.

  8. I love it! The activity looks fun in itself, I could do that while the girls explore ;)

  9. must try printmaking ... but you know, what SHE is doing looks so much more fun!

    As I wrote elsewhere today, painting for us was always an outdoor activity at our old house, usually in a nappy with hands, feet and bums as the tools. My daughter often went out or received visitors v=covered in paint, and I wouldn't have it any other way! :)

  10. A lesson I need to learn again and again. I have a tendancy to structure things too much for my little guy. He's good a reminding me (in his 2 yo way) to let him work outside the box!

  11. So much fun! Love the end colour, too :)

  12. Thanks for all the lovely comments guys. Happy to see we are not the only joint where everything turns into a finger painting experience!

  13. Looks like fun! Painting is always a fav here, too.
    So glad to see you highlight the notion of process versus product.
    There is way too much emphasis on product here in the USA.
    One of the reasons we homeschool and are in a co-op that focuses on process.
    Again, great post. Hope that yo will pop by my blog.

  14. It just looks so inviting, I want to sink my hands into that beautiful green and let it ooze between my fingers!