I have purchased several of the wooden printing blocks from India also.
On YouTube you will find a demonstration of how the printing blocks are used
to print fabric and there is another showing exactly how the blocks are
carved. They are amazing and your students would probably enjoy seeing how
these intricate blocks are carved and printed.
As for printing them, try dabbing on acrylic paint with a sponge. Place
your paper on a soft surface for stamping the print since the bottoms of the
blocks are not always completely flat. I have used a sheet of craft foam
as my soft surface, but I'm sure there are many things that would work. I
may also try the old felts from my printing press!