Children love painting and they love blocks! This simple open-ended process art activity combines their love of both! With quick setup and minimal supplies, printmaking with wooden blocks is an art project that can come out at a moment’s notice. Grab some wooden blocks and some paint and let the kids get to work printmaking with blocks!
Setting Up a Printmaking with Blocks Center
Set-up takes hardly any time at all. First, cover an art table with a plastic shower curtain from the dollar store. Next, put paint on paper plates -great for easy cleanup- and set the blocks next to the paint. Provide large, sturdy pieces of paper and smocks, and the children can get right to work!
You will need
- Blocks – Use different sizes and shapes for the best results.
- Paper – Sturdy paper is recommended, especially for younger students, to prevent tearing.
- Paint – Washable tempera is great for this as it usually comes off the blocks quite easily.
Ready, Set, PRINT!
Encourage students to try a variety of different shaped blocks for interesting patterns. Teachers can incorporate block printing into other lessons, such as color theory and learning about primary colors. Ask students what they think will happen if they yellow and blue paint mixed together? Discuss how turning the block makes different shapes. Challenge students to make a pattern, create a picture, or make a bigger shape like a tangram!
These cylinder blocks are easy to hold and make a wonderful print.
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Holding onto those little blocks with slippery fingers is so much fun! It also improves their hand muscles! This is an important pre-writing skill as it strengthens the fine motor muscles and helps the students develop better control.
The Importance of Process Art
It seems like in every class, one or two students who are hesitant to work at the art center because they are worried that their artwork won’t be perfect. There is no right or wrong to process art projects, allowing students to be free and experiment. It is a wonderful way to encourage reluctant artists as it builds confidence and creativity. Process art like printmaking with blocks is open-ended and gives even the most hesitant student a chance to create something they are proud of.
Some of the children may want to make exact prints of their blocks, others may want to slide and move the blocks. Some mix the colors and others keep them separate. The variety is what makes each creation beautiful and unique.
Process art is so important for young children with so many benefits. It boosts confidence, self-regulation, problem solving, and cooperation with others. But of course, the best part is how much fun they will have while learning!