Kids seem to love painting and making a mess. My kid also loves using rubber stamps. To incorporate the two I recalled making stampers out of potatoes as a child, but they were tricky, as they were carved with a knife. To make this a bit safer for a preschooler, I decided to use small cookie cutters to help with the design, and to save little fingers from injury.
- Potatoes, plain old Idaho
- small plastic cookie cutters (I used Wilton ones)
- washable liquid paint, such as Crayola kids
- small flat bottom dish or bowl for the paint
- paper or other surface for stamping
- small knife for adult to cut potato in half
- Optional: glitter for pizzazz
- Start by rinsing the dirt off your potatoes and the adult cutting each potato in half.
- Child can select the cookie cutter shape they like and press it into the cut surface of the potato. Leave the cookie cutter in the potato and carefully cut a thin slice off the potato into the cookie cutter so that when the outside is removed, it will leave the raised impression of the shape. Then remove the cookie cutter.
- My son wanted to use white and blue paint for his stampers. We used the brown wrapping paper that had been used to protect frames we bought at Ikea. His idea was to make wrapping paper with his stampers for his friends’ birthday party. I added paint to a small plastic dish and mixed in a few teaspoons of water to thin the pain slightly. I showed my son how to dip the potato stamper into the paint so that it was covered well.
- Stamping on paper takes a bit of experimentation to get the correct pressure and how to lift the stamp off the paper without smearing the image. It helps to tell your child to lift the potato stamper off the paper by pulling it straight up in the air. It doesn’t really matter if the images smear, it all looks great in the end.
- My son wanted to add glitter to his stamped images to make them sparkle. We tried sprinkling the glitter on the wet paint and then shaking off the excess. When the paint dried, most of the glitter fell off. I think if we had mixed the glitter into the paint before stamping, it would have worked better. The other option would have been to add glitter glue to the dried paint.