I've found this to be a great medium for 1-3 grade, but the older kids need more detail.
Larry, I hope these hints help:
Don't forget to redraw right on the plate. I usually cut a paper the size of the foam. Do a simple pencil drawing on the paper. With the foam under the paper on a hard surface, redraw, transfering the drawing to the foam. This makes minor dents in the foam that need to be stronger. Remove the paper and redraw right into the foam with a semi-dull pencil, turning minor dents into deeper dents. Add textures, patterns and details right into the foam with pencils, combs, bottle caps, fingernails....anything that'll dent the foam.
Don't rub too hard with your hands when making the print or the soft foam flattens out erasing the dents of the drawing. Don't use a spoon or even (ha) a press (if you have one). Rub only with the palm of the hand to avoid unwanted dents.
My kids love to make cards for holidays, so I use this around holidays. I usually don't do holiday projects, but if they want to do holiday stuff, why not while learning about relief printing, texture, patterns or some other drawing project.
For cards they fold a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 into quarters and print on the front. Sometimes they get confused and get it backwards but they don't seem to care. Office paper comes in lots of colors (and not the art budget), and matching envelopes that accomodate a 1/4 sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 are available.
Now I wish the foam would come in 8 1/2 x 11 instead of 9 x 12. Anyone have any ideas on what to do with 8 1/2 x 1 pieces of this foam? It would be nice to hear from those who have used this material in some other way.
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