Real artists see beauty in the ordinary. Take your average kitchen utensils for example. Utilitarian and, well, ordinary. But if you look very closely they are full of different edges and shapes, patterns and textures. Gather a few kitchen instruments for some kitchen prints! (It’s best if these utensils can be devoted to art and sensory activities. Most washable paints will wash off of utensils, but if you can, it’s best to have separate sets.) I found interesting prints by using spatulas, pastry blenders, potato mashers, whisks, cups, pizza cutters, and even forks.
When doing prints, I like to present the paint on an old plastic lid with a ridge. On top of the lid I place several thicknesses of moistened paper towels. Then I spread a thin, even layer of paint on top of the toweling. This creates something like an ink pad. Try it out a few times to make sure that there is enough paint to print, but not so much that you lose the detail of your object in goopy drips of paint.
Thin lines created with the pizza cutter. Circle created using a plastic cup.
Set up your art table with the paint (prepared as mentioned above), utensils, art trays with paper, rags, smocks, and a pen for writing names on papers. The children will develop creative skills while also developing a finer sense of observation and visual perception as they examine the utensils and anticipate the prints they might make. As you talk with the children about the utensils as they make their prints, they build language skills, become more familiar with kitchen tools, and increase in divergent thinking as they use familiar tools in a different way.
Smock up and enjoy!
For more food-themed activities, click here!