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 ISSUE 56  •   23 AUGUST 2008 
   This issue: printing


1. Editorial
2. Sponge stamper prints
3. Simple shape prints

4. Stripy zebra prints
5. Baking tray prints
Featured subscriber blog

1. Editorial

Oh goodnes where did August go? It's a good bet that things have gone pear-shaped when I start receiving emails from new subscribers saying 'I signed up for your newsletter almost a month ago but I haven't got one yet - is there something wrong with my subscription?' To which I am forced to reply that the problem is not at their end but mine!

Quite frankly, I blame the Olympics! So many late nights! So many handsome men in tight-fitting clothes! [Sigh]. Speaking of Olympics, Let's Explore have some some excellent ideas for kids like the Backwards Olympics and my favourite, the Fairy Olympics.

Thank you all for all the fantastic photos that have been added to the Kids Craft Weekly photo pool on Flickr. Remember that every month I am giving away a book from my Amazon favourites list – all you have to do to be in the running is to upload your own photo.

The winning photo for July was Melissa's photo of her daughter Lily playing the magazine alphabet game from the Kids Craft Weekly Alphabet Issue.

Melissa has chosen to receive a copy of All Year Round for her prize. I haven't actually read this book (and it's a bit of a mystery as to how it ended up on my favourites instead of on my wish list) but if the reviews are any indication I imagine it is very good. For now we shall have to wait for Melissa to report back on this! 

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

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2. Sponge stamper prints

Kids of all ages will enjoy using these stampers to experiment with shapes, textures and colours. Don't throw them away when you're finished – we've found these stamping sets easy to resuscitate with a simple splash of water.

You will need

• empty bottles with lids on them
• strong glue
• dish sponges
• scissors
• food colouring
• shallow dish
• hole punch (optional)


1. To make a stamp pad, cut an absorbent dish sponge to fit in a shallow dish. Then add a good amount of food colouring.

2. For your stampers, cut some shapes from dish sponge and glue them to the tops of the bottles using strong glue. We have found that smelly, child-unfriendly glues work best!

3. To create a great spiral stamp,  roll up a thin dish sponge and fasten with a rubber band.

4. Pull out some paper and stamp away. And remember, food colouring does stain so be vigilant!

3. Simple shape prints

Littlies will love this fun printing technique and preschoolers will enjoy being challeged to name the shapes. Those aged five and over can have a go at mixing up the shapes to make different objects like a house, car or tower.

You will need

• a toilet paper roll
a matchbox
a Toblerone chocolate bar
a toothpaste box
a paper cup
acrylic paint


1. Make a cup of tea and eat your Toblerone chocolate bar while the kids are asleep. Save the triangular prism cardboard packaging for making shape prints the following day!

2. Collect together some more different shaped cardboard boxes and cut any extraneous flaps of cardboard off them so that they will make a nice clean outline.

3. Pour large globs of paint onto a tray or some cardboard and stand up each of your cardboard stamps in a different glob of paint.

4. Use as stamps on colourful paper.

Here are Arky's efforts. You'll notice they're really very restrained – except when it came to the Toblerone. He's much like his mother in that respect :)

4. Stripy zebra prints

Here's a fun activity that the young ones can enjoy too! Keep a cloth handy to wipe down your stripy children when they're finished with the zebra.

You will need

• paper and marker
acrylic paint
sponge, pencil and washer (optional)


1. Draw an outline of a zebra. You can download my one if you're not feeling confident.

2. Decorate it using stripe prints. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Use the edge of a dish sponge:

Thread a pencil through a washer and roll it through a glob of paint:

Dip the thin edge of a popstick in a pool of paint:

2. We opted for the popstick method to make stripes for our zebra.

3. Allow to dry, then cut out and display with pride.

5. Baking tray prints

Older kids will love being taught this method of print-making and once they understand what to do they'll want to be left alone to do it all by themselves. Of course, younger kids will enjoy this too but in a different way. Arky loved using the roller to apply the paint but didn't want to be pressed to do the rest of the activity!

You will need

blank paper
old baking tray
acrylic paint
paint roller
• cotton buds


1. Squirt some paint onto the back of a baking tray and roll it evenly using a small paint roller.

2. Draw a picture or pattern in the paint using cotton buds (q-tips) or your finger.

3. Press a piece of paper
against the the paint and carefully remove.

Depending on the thickness of the paint you should be able to make about three prints before re-applying the paint and doing it all again.

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6. Featured subscriber blog

The Diaper Diaries

"Always loaded; sometimes full of crap."

To have your blog featured in this section just send in your web address and I'll add you to the list. But be warned, the waiting list is currently very long. 


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