The official beginning of fall has actually coincided with the onset of beautifully cool weather here in the desert, and I’ve been accumulating fall activity ideas to do with the boys. Apples are going to be our loose theme for the next two or three weeks, followed by pumpkins in time for October leading into Halloween. We just picked up a couple apple books from the library on Saturday (and have more on hold since everyone else seems to be into apples right now too!), and Saturday morning we tried out some apple printing.
We cut one apple vertically so the prints would have the recognizable apple shape, and the other one horizontally so the boys could see the star inside (and hopefully get it to show up in the prints too). At first I just gave them the apple halves, but it ended up being difficult to get the apples out of the bowls of paint, so I stuck popsicle sticks in two of them to use as handles. It worked pretty well! I think that brushing the paint onto the apple would allow you to get more even prints; dunking tended to give us an excess of paint for the first stamp or two. The prints would also probably be better – as in, more apple-like – if the boys hadn’t taken bites out of them all 🙂
I made the paints from flour, water, and food coloring (with some salt so the leftovers would last, and some baking powder so we could use it as puffy paint), because I knew the apples would be impossible to resist. If it’s any indication, we’ve gone through 10 apples in the last 5 days… so I needed our paint to be completely edible. I may have done more actual stamping than the boys, but they had a great time – we spent almost an hour and a half on the project, not including all the cleanup, and that’s a long time for a 3 year old and a 1 year old!
And they got into the painting too:
We didn’t microwave the paintings to make the paint puff, and when it dried it really curled the paper up, but the boys are far more interested in the process than the product so I don’t think they cared. Actually, I don’t think they even noticed… I hung the papers to dry on a clothesline in the garage but I probably could have recycled them without triggering any emotional danger zones 🙂 I’m pretty much the same way with my own art, though, so I like it!
All in all, a great start to our fall apple “unit study” and a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning together!