What You’ll Need
- Flat pieces of foam (such as the top of a takeout container or the bottom of a meat tray)
- Acrylic paint
- Paintbrush (not a foam brush)
What to Do
- Make sure your piece of foam is flat. Cut off any curved sides if you used a meat tray.
- Draw lightly the picture you want to appear. Remember that whatever you draw will come out in reverse.
- Go over the drawing to create grooves in the foam. Be careful not to press too hard.
- Brush a thin coat of paint on the foam.
- While the paint is moist, lay the paper over the painted tray, making sure not to move the paper once it’s down. Rub firmly and evenly on all parts of the paper.
- Peel the paper from the foam, and you have your print!
Extend the Fun
Younger children: If your child draws one picture he really likes, keep the project going by changing the paint color. More paint on the foam tray and another piece of paper means a print that’s the same but different. Have fun playing with your child as he experiments with colors.
Older children: It can be hard to make just one of these prints. Help your child prepare several float foam pieces. For a different sharpness, she can try an orange stick instead of a pencil. Or she can use a toy rolling pin (or a real one) instead of her hands to press the paper firmly against the painted tray. When she’s finished, encourage her to name and sign each print. She can also arrange them in a specific order, just like artists do when they have a show at an art gallery.