Found Object Print Making with Kids

print making paintings

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Sometimes it pays to have a really messy playroom.

Recently the girl asked me to paint with her, which she doesn’t often do. She’s usually content to create by herself, which I love, but it’s fun to work alongside her as well.

We each got a piece of paper and she started painting in the usual way. I looked around at all the stuff scattered on the table and the floor and decided I was going to play a bit by doing some random found object print making in my to add texture to paintings

I started by using a little plastic coin to spread around the paint for my “grass” and add some texture.

I used a mini Christmas ball ornament to make the petals of one flower, and a pom pom to make another. I actually used a paintbrush for the butterfly and dripped paint from a spoon to make the yellow dots.

found object painting
My found object painting.

Somewhere along the way the girl got into the spirit. She pulled out playdough toys and used them as stamps, and she liked painting with pompoms and spreading out paint with the spoon as well. She also used a brush and her fingers.

found object print making
Using bunny feet, a pair of dough scissors and a spoon in painting.

This is a fun art experiment because you’re literally using whatever is at hand (admittedly you could gather materials instead of finding them randomly in the mess surrounding you) and just trying things out.

Some of the things she tried worked the way she expected; others (like the dough cutters) did not.

print making paintings
The girl’s paintings made with found object print making.

The first painting she made, which the action pictures above were taken from, ended up getting finger painted over, but the tracks from the dough tool were still pretty cool. She ended up making several of these, and they’re all pretty fun.

A Found Object Print Making Kit

If you don’t happen to have a creatively messy room to paint in, you might consider collecting some supplies and storing them together as a kit for textured painting and print making. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • plastic or metal coins
  • ball-shaped ornaments
  • cookie cutters
  • pom poms
  • playdough tools
  • yarn
  • foam stickers
  • bottle caps and lids
  • bubble wrap
  • wadded up paper
  • cardboard
  • old credit or gift cards
  • marbles or other balls
  • sponges
  • whatever else is handy that you don’t mind getting paint on

This was a really fun experiment for both of us, and I think it opened her eyes up to the idea that you can paint with a lot of things other than brushes and your fingers. (Even though we’ve done some of that before, it’s always nice to be reminded.)

Have you done any fun printmaking with kids like this? I’d love to hear what items you used.

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