I came across another technique on the Let's Explore blog -- laying down a layer of paint, and then etching paint away to make the design.
It was a big success -- the children really liked laying down their colors and then taking away. This is a new way for them to think about drawing, too -- it is a new way for them to experience the idea of an outline and line drawings. On Let's Explore, they used cotton swabs to take the paint away -- my last minute planning left us with straws. But it was a busy part of the room all morning.
When I moved to Europe from Seattle last July, it was hard for me to part with the four beautiful pieces of glass that I had found on the side of the road that the children last year used for printing. I was teaching in a parent co-op, so when we were doing that activity, there was a parent available to wash the glass between children. I came across the glossy boards I have now while moving into this classroom -- they didn't appear to be in use for anything else! There are six or seven of them, and we use them all of the time.
But for those of you who do not have glass or glossy boards, I have a brilliant and affordable solution : flexible cutting boards! We just used them for the first time the other day after a little lightbulb went off in my head. Unbreakable AND kids can wash them themselves. That is part of our classroom printing routine : paint, print, drying rack, wash the board.
They would also be nice, easy-to-clean painting surfaces for projects at home...
Cutting board printing in action in our classroom...