Printing with Peppers

This is one of my favourite art activities to do with young children because it is simple, easy for them to manage independently and the results are very beautiful.

 I love all printing activities really and love how even a baby can print with duplo blocks and other found objects, with relative control and success. Printing with fruit and vegetables is a lovely way to centre a discussion around what might be found on the inside, and then learning about seeds, stems and stones!

 I cut a few peppers (bell peppers to those outside the UK!) in half, exactly through the centre of the stalk so that it could form part of the print too. Then I mixed up some simple colours in poster paints on some disposable plates.

 The girls got stuck in right away, dipping and printing onto their choices of coloured papers. Because of the small surface area of the peppers, they were fairly easy to print with and didn’t slide about as much as some flatter fruit and vegetables can do. Their large, rounded shape meant they were easy to grip too. Fantastic printing tool for little hands!

 They layered and overlapped the prints and I was able to introduce some new art vocabulary along the way…overlap, outline, line, edge, layers.

 Some hand painting and printing occurred (of course!) and was added into the mix.
Some of the seeds came off and stuck to the prints, which I thought looked lovely!

 The results were simple, bright, fun and very quirky.

 With an older group of children I would extend this further by asking them to do line drawings of the sliced peppers, in either black ink or heavy pencils. I would ask them to examine the seeds and details really closely and add them into the drawing, finding a way to make them really stand out. They could then go on to mix their own colours and paint a picture too.

Learning Links:

  • creative: printing with everyday items, exploring colour mixing, introducing concepts of overlapping and outline
  • maths: talking about 2D shapes and irregular shapes
  • motor skills: using simple tools/ materials with control, printing and lifting carefully
  • science: predicting, examining and discussing what fruit and vegetables will look like on the inside/ talking about seeds/ names of fruit and vegetables
Cakie: 34 months
Pop: 15 months

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