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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Shelf Paper Art Prints in Preschool

After we had so much success at preschool with our Bubblewrap Butterflies a while back that I decided to branch out into some different types of printmaking.  As a result, as I was about to throw away some pieces of that rubbery shelf liner recently I decided that it might make really good printing material.
Basic Grip Shelf Liner - Taupe (12x5")
Here is an example of the shelf liner that I mean.
This is one you can buy at Target.
I had several different kinds hanging out unused at home, so I took it up to my local Teacher Center and die cut some big flowers and leaves, along with a few flower pots and stems. (You can of course also hand cut these.)

I got this extra-bumpy shelf liner at IKEA.

Then I lightly glued them in place with a smear of regular school glue to some of our plastic work mats.  I have found in the past that plastic/rubbery items glued lightly to these mats come right off later so I wasn't worried about them sticking permanently.  Plus, I didn't want the pieces to slide around while the Little People painted on them. My first choice would have been to have the Little People arrange the elements of their flower pictures themselves before painting and printing, but I wasn't sure how to combine this with the "must-glue-to-avoid-sliding" issue.

As a result, the mats looked like this:

It doesn't matter at all whether your pieces are mix-and-match from
different types of liner - it all looks good in the end.

You can see the glue still drying on this one.

These were a little harder to glue down because this liner is stiff
 and had a good curve to it.  However, this would be easily fixed by gluing them
 the day before and putting them under something flat and heavy to dry.

  Then we had the Little People fingerpaint on them.  I especially wanted to use fingerpaint for this project because of the bumpy nature of the shelf liner - it was a fantastic sensory project.  In fact, I had one girl who wasn't ready to make her print for a long time because she was just enjoying rubbing the clear, bumpy liner flower over and over.

I wouldn't have thought of this before, but the non-black liners were a little easier for the Little People to fill with paint because it was hard to see how much paint was on the black liners.  Here are some being painted:

After the paint was distributed as the kids wanted it, we put a large piece of white paper over the painted mat and (after washing their hands) they rubbed all over it:

And then we got beautiful flower prints:

I think tomorrow I will experiment with some extra tacky glue that I have to see if I can make the pieces a little sticky on the back - kind of like Post It notes.  If so, the Little People will then be able to arrange the pieces as they wish, making this the perfect art project:  some sensory, all process, all student-led.  Not to mention a project that recycled some unused extra shelf liner.

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