Yesterday was one of those days I had been saving this rainy day activity for. The sky was grey, the wind was blowing and it was wet and generally gloomy. To top it off, the temperature has made it feel more like winter than summer!
At the beginning of the summer I had put a couple of polystyrene pizza trays to to one side as these are perfect for polystyrene prints. You can also use polystyrene trays, just cuts the edges off to create a flat surface to work on. You can buy sheets to do this on, but it makes sense to recycle packaging.
There is a four year gap between my children and I some times find it difficult finding activities they can both do for themselves at the same time. But this really is an excellent activity to do with people of all ages, and abilities as really simple marks can produce an excellent piece of work.
You will need:-
- a polystyrene sheet
- a pencil or ball point pen
- printing ink or thick poster paint with a little washing up liquid added to it
- a tray to put your ink/paint in
- a roller or paint brush
1. I prolonged the activity by giving them paper first so that they could get an idea of the designs they would like to use but you can go straight to mark making on polystyrene if you wish. The Little Fairy needed to be encouraged to keep her designs simple, she kept wanting to do little intricate designs, but simple designs work best for this.
2. Make marks on you polystyrene sheet. I found it useful giving mine blunt pencils to use as in the past I have had children actually going through the sheets due to them trying to leave pencil/pen marks. It is simply a tool for creating an indentation.
3. Cover the sheet with an even layer of ink or paint, using a roller if possible. If not, a large paint brush will do.
4. Place a sheet of paper of the polystyrene sheet, being careful to keep it in the same position, and apply pressure. A rolling pin can be used for this as it provides even pressure across the paper.
5. Carefully peel back your paper to reveal your master piece! If the image is very faint do it again on a clean sheet using a little more ink/paint. The polystyrene can be used over and over again making it perfect for creating items such as cards and wrapping paper, paper table cloths etc.
Here are some I'd done with a group of school children earlier in the year. Their topic was fruit and they created their prints from line drawings they had produced after studying different fruits cut in half.