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Have a Fruitful Fall: Printmaking with Your Little Apple

 boy stamping apple

Amaze your toddler with an easy craft project that turns his favorite fall fruit into art: using apple halves as stamps! Young children love exploring everyday objects, like putting all the blocks in the toy box, and then taking them all back out again. Moving big apple halves—from paint to canvas, and then back again—is a fascinating activity for little hands (and growing minds). Plus, it’s a fun way to use up fruit that’s past its prime or reminisce about your recent trip to the local orchard. Afterward, you can toast your family's artistic endeavors with a mug of spiced cider.

materials for printmaking

What You Will Need

  • A few apples
  • Sharp knife (for grownup use only)
  • Paper or a canvas on a frame
  • A plate to use as your palette
  • Paint

Note: Not all paint is created equal for this project. We used washable finger paints and the prints were pretty abstract, so we checked in with a KinderCare teacher who does this project with her toddlers, and she recommended Colorations Tempera Paint: It’s still washable, but contains less liquid, which keeps the apple shapes crisp.

Directions

  1. Cut the apples in half and remove the seeds. If you feel like it, you can use a paring knife to cut basic shapes into the apples, like hearts or stars.

  2. Put blobs of colorful paint on your palette. You can stick with one hue or put a few different ones right next to each other.

  3. Invite your child to use the apples as stamps. It doesn’t matter if they use the edges to stamp, or if the paint-covered fruit slips out of their hands—the goal is simply to partake in a playful, unexpected way to enjoy art.

printmaking product

Doing this project on a small stretched canvas makes a great holiday gift for grandma and grandpa. Glue a ribbon loop to the back for a pretty finish. You can also use fabric paint with the apples to decorate cloth shopping bags, sweatshirts, or pillows.

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