Fruit and Vegetable Prints

What You Need:

  • Colored construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Tempera paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Muffin tin
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Newspaper
  • Paper towels
  • Markers
  • Clear adhesive shelf paper
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon

What You Do:

  1. Start by preparing the materials. Have your child pick out which fruits and veggies he wants to use. What are some of his favorite vegetables? Which ones look the most interesting? After he's picked out the ones he likes, slice them yourself.
  2. Have your child pour about two tablespoons of each paint into the muffin tins, and have him put one brush with each color.
  3. While he's doing that, cut out at least 10 pieces of construction paper to 4" by 6" for the book's pages, and cut two sheets to 5" by 8" for the covers.
  4. Now you're all ready to print! Invite your child to practice on newspaper first. Brush the cut side of the vegetable lightly with paint, press onto the paper, and lift straight up. Wipe the veggies with a paper towel between prints.
  5. Allow him to decorate the pages any way he likes. He can print once or twice per sheet, or completely cover the paper with prints! Move the finished papers to a flat surface to dry as he finishes.
  6. Help him to choose up to 10 pages to bind, and have him write out the names of the veggies on each page, helping out when needed.
  7. Now it's time to laminate your pages. Roll the shelf paper out and peel off the adhesive, setting the backing aside for later use.
  8. Have him carefully lay a print on the adhesive, print-side-down, then smooth from the center out. Repeat, allowing 2-3 inches between prints.
  9. Replace the backing, turn the whole thing over, and trim the pages yourself, allowing a one inch margin of laminate all around. He can decorate the covers with marker as you cut pages.
  10. Next, assemble the pages. Working with two prints at a time, have him peel the backings off, then help him align the paper corners back to back (not the laminate corners) and smooth. Repeat.
  11. Now you can put the book together! Have him stack the prints between the covers. Align the left edges and punch holes along the left edge every inch yourself. Have him thread ribbon through the holes and tie a knot.
  12. Finally, trim the uneven edges, and you're all done!

Now that he's finished his very own book, encourage him to make more. He can print leaves, flowers, his hands, almost anything he can imagine. Soon, you'l have a whole library of your child's own creations.

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