Make Corn Print Patterns! Activity

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Updated on Jun 25, 2013

This fun filled printing activity will encourage your young child to explore the artistic process while learning a valuable lesson about recycling and reusing. If you've ever hung decorative ears of corn in your home for the holidays or used them as part of a fall wreath, there's no need to throw them out once the season is over! Instead, utilize the corn ears as a simple art material.

This corn print activity will inspire your child to be creative while she recycles, and help her to learn about basic art and design elements such as color, pattern, and texture. This is a great activity to do during the fall and winter seasons!

What You Need:

  • Dried ears of corn (reused decorative corn ears if you have any)
  • Tempera paint in a variety of colors
  • Construction paper
  • Paintbrush (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Before you begin the activity, take some time to look at the corn with your child to make some observations. Show her the different colors and the patterns that the colored kernels create and pay particular attention to the texture of the corn.
  2. Now it's time to start painting! Give your child a selection of paint colors. For an added color lesson, provide only the primary colors (i.e., red, blue, and yellow) and some white paint. Have her explore with mixing and blending different colors to create a rainbow of her own unique colors.
  3. Help your child dip the corn into the paint. Encourage her to roll the corn in the paint (this will help to cover the whole piece). This part can get messy, so make sure you're working in a protected area. Instead, if you like, you can help your child use a paint brush to cover the corn in paint.
  4. Ask your child to firmly press the corn onto the construction paper to make a corn kernel print. Encourage her to repeat this several times, creating multiple images and patterns on one piece of paper. Try making patterns based on shape, color, or even texture.
  5. When her prints have dried, you can hang them up in the house as a decoration or simply to display as a work of art!

When you child is finished pressing and printing with the corn, allow her to explore and experiment with using the corn as a new painting tool. Watch and see what types of colorful creations she can make with the corn used as a painting brush.

Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

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