Early literacy development is key to the academic success of the young child. Rote reading and memorization tasks such as flash cards and work sheets are not always the best way to introduce new concepts to preschool aged children. Imaginative and explorative arts and crafts activities are a great tool to help little learners to discover the joys and wonders of reading!
Purple P prints are a fun way to introduce basic print making techniques, the letter P literacy lesson, and the color purple. This activity does not require fancy or expensive printing tools. Tempera paints, foam trays, and a rolling pin can all be used to create this unique project.
Recommended age range for this art activity: 3-6
- Purple water soluble (non-toxic) block printing ink or purple tempera paint
- Scratch foam sheets or styrofoam trays cut flat (avoid trays that have held meat products)
- Construction paper
- Wooden stylus, or toothpick, or pencil
- Brayer, paint brushes, or rolling pin
- Large sheet of newsprint or construction paper folded in half
Art Process Steps:
- Adult: Demonstrate how to draw the letter P.
- Children: Using a wooden stylus (or toothpick or pencil) draw the letter P onto a sheet of scratch foam (or Styrofoam tray). An adult should look for P etchings that are deep enough to see. If the P is not deep enough into the foam, have the child retrace it.
- Adult: Create a line of printing ink for the children to roll out. For easy cleanup, use a tray to roll the ink on. If tempera paint is being used instead of ink, place the paint on a tray to be rolled (or brushed).
- Children: Roll over the ink with the brayer until it is coated. When it is sufficiently coated it will make a ‘crackling’ noise. If paint is being used, dip the paint brush in the paint to coat it.
- Children: Roll the brayer over the letter P printing plate coating the entire sheet. For those using paint, brush a thin layer of paint over the entire printing plate.
- Adult: Fold a large sheet of newsprint or other paper in half like a book.
- Children: Open the newsprint and place the purple printing plate inside.
- Children: Place a piece of construction paper over the printing plate and close the large sheet of newsprint.
- Children: Roll a clean brayer or rolling pin over the entire sheet.
- Children: Open the newsprint and remove the construction paper from the printing plate.
After this activity is finished try making prints for other letters of the alphabet with other colors such as blue B’s, red R’s, or orange O’s. Ask the child to name each letter and think of words that begin with it.