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Cookie Sheet Printmaking, A Beautiful Oops...

Cookie Sheet Print of an Island

Do you have a child with a strong vision about how things should be? Is it difficult for you or your child to accept when things turn out differently than expected?

We can all benefit from some low stakes practice being flexible and uncomfortable. When we're okay being uncomfortable we're more willing to embrace future growth and learning. (Learning occurs in that space when we push ourselves just to the point of being a bit uncomfortable!)

Cookie Sheet Printmaking is a great way to play with unexpected results. Printmaking is two prints will look the same. Encourage your family to embrace a 'beautiful oops' mindset with this activity and get flexible!! Keep kids who like predictability and perfect outcomes going by:

  • Setting Expectations: Talk about printmaking before starting. Be clear that these prints will each be a beautiful surprise. They will not come out the way they look on your cookie sheet!

  • Focusing on the process: Put the emphasis on doing instead of the result! Ask things like: 'What do you notice when you put down a lot of paint/ or a little?' 'How does the paper feel under your hands?'

  • Act like a Scientist: Sometimes by changing the focus from art to science kids will feel less pressure to create a museum worthy product and be more free to explore the medium. Become color scientists who experiment with design. Use a lot of paper and try all different ways of using, mixing and moving color and texture and thickness!

  • Observe the result: Use 'What do you Notice' and 'What do you wonder' questions when you're looking at the final product together.

  • Model it: Try Cookie Sheet Printmaking with your child and model all the ways to experiment and ask questions about your designs. Try having your child give you a set of directions to follow and try saying YES to their ideas.


Cookie Sheet Printmaking


Washable tempura (poster) paint Q-tips A cookie sheet Thick paper Roller brush or foam brush (to spread paint)

Directions 1. Spread paint over the cookie sheet in a thin layer. 2. Make designs with the Q-tips. 3. Press paper on top. Try not to wiggle the paper!

4. Peel up the paper and check out the results! 5. Let it dry. 6. Frame or cut to create greeting cards to brighten another's day.


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