For centuries, different cultures have used embossing to create raised images on metal, paper, and more. Frequently seen as decoration on knights' armor, this artistic process can be modified for small hands. This spring, help him emboss his own design reminiscent of the metalwork of the Middle Ages. Using foil instead of metal, and a wooden stylus instead of a hammer, your budding artist can create seasonal flowers with stand-out beauty! He'll gain a better understanding of patterns and textures, too.
What You Do:
- Cut the foil into squares or rectangles. Start small; if he is able to fill a small space, try larger squares later.
- Help him choose a flower to draw by looking through books or going outdoors. This entire project can actually be done outside while looking directly at the flowers for inspiration.
- Turn the embossing foil over. Have him use the stylus or craft stick (a small twig collected outside will also work) to draw the flower design into the foil. Make sure that he presses down firmly enough to pop out the foil on the opposite side, but not so hard that he tears it. This may take some experimentation.
- Ask him to turn the foil over. A pretty flower will be revealed!
- If he wishes, have him add extra embellishments to the blank areas on the foil.
Once he has finished the embossing, ask him to feel the design. Play a guessing game, and take turns embossing a secret object and then feeling it to guess what it is. This is a great sensory activity!
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.