Make an Impression with Bubble Wrap Activity

2.9 based on 11 ratings
Updated on May 18, 2011

This tactile seascape teaches children the basics of printmaking using bubble wrap. They’ll create fish, sea creatures and coral to make their very own textured underwater world out of paint and oil pastels. This is a great follow up project for a trip to an aquarium.

What You Need:

  • Sheets of bubble wrap
  • A dark blue piece of construction paper (11” x 17”)
  • Scissors
  • Paint trays
  • Colorful tempera paint
  • Newspaper
  • Oil pastels
  • Black marker

What You Do:

  1. Have your child draw out different sea creatures on the flat side of the bubble wrap using permanent black marker. These creatures can include all kinds of fish as well as starfish, jellyfish, and seahorses.
  2. Cut out the creatures with a pair of scissors.
  3. Cover your table with newspaper, and set a few sheets of newspaper to the side.
  4. Place the blue construction paper in front of your child. She can now dip a bubble wrap sea creature into paint, bubble side down. Have her test print on the newspaper to get the correct paint consistency, making sure it isn’t too runny or too dry. She can continue dipping and stamping her sea creatures until her paper is full of fish. Allow paint to dry completely.
  5. Use oil pastels to outline the bubble wrap creatures in different colors and add details such as eyes, fins, gills, coral, seaweed, bubbles and rocks.

Helpful Hints: This project tends to get messy. It is a good idea of you set newspaper down on the floor and table to avoid paint spills. Kids can also choose to use a large, soft paintbrush and paint the color onto the bubble wrap creature instead of dipping it into a paint tray.  

Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture and photography since 1996.

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