This week we tried modified screen printing in kindergarten and first grade. We made some modifications to help the littles understand the process better, so this is more of an introduction to stencils not actual screen printing.

1.) The children fold a half sheet of paper in half.  They can cut shapes out of the fold to create holes in the paper.  We introduced symmetry by unfolding the cutouts and seeing how both sides match. Demonstrate how an ice cream cone cut becomes a heart, and a number three cut becomes a butterfly. Save these pieces. My kiddos use half pizza boxes (tops) to catch messes like clippings and paint.gyp

2.) The children have a strip of paper and scissors.  Show them how to cut squares and rectangles,  then cut corner to corner to make two triangles from a rectangle.  Older children can also round off the corners to make circles and ovals.

3.) Children lay the pieces on a colorful sheet of paper (We used 8 1/2″ x 11) as they like.

4.) Using strips of mesh wall repair tape (it looks like screen and is lightly sticky on one side) to hold the pieces in place.

5.) Children dab tempera paint on their shapes and holes,  making sure to cover the edges.  Use a paintbrush,  sponge, cotton ball, etc.  A small sponge roller or large geometric stamp is more like printing, but can be difficult to manage with large groups of children. Avoid very wet paints that soak through, and dab to prevent paint being pushed under edges.

6.) Lift the ‘screen tape’ off to reveal the painted design.

7.) Optional: Glue the ‘prints’ and the negative shapes on the tapes to a larger paper. (We used 12 by 18 inch sheets.)

We did real screen-prints on paper in 6th grade. The winning designs were printed on t-shirts.

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