Potato Stamping

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Parents and teachers are often looking for activities to keep young children occupied. Have you thought of teaching them to do potato printing? It’s a fun craft for young children as well as those who may simply be young at heart.

You may already have most of the items you need for potato stamping. Here are the items you’ll need:

  • Potatoes
  • Poster or tempera paint
  • White or colored construction paper, cardboard or wood
  • Sharp knife
  • Pencil
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plate or Styrofoam tray

potato stamping

This is one activity you’ll want to help with so your young child doesn’t have to use a sharp knife. Cut the potatoes in portions of at least thirds or halves. Place them cut side down on the paper towels to absorb the extra moisture.

Ask your child to make a drawing on the surface of the potato. They can then carve the design with the pencil itself or you can trace around the design with a knife. The chunkier the drawing, the easier it will be for your child to remove the excess. Another option would be to use large cookie cutters to create the design. Don’t forget to leave a little of the potato as a handle to make potato printing easier for little hands.

Put a thin layer of paint in the plate or tray. Let your child press their potato into the paint, pick it straight up and then place it straight down on the paper. Press the potato firmly onto the paper without pushing it around. Pick it straight back up to move it to a different location.

If you use the potato for a while and the impression isn’t crisp, you can cut a thin layer of the potato off. This will create a fresh surface from which to make the prints. You’ll also want to try to use one potato design per each color of paint.

Suppose your child wants to create a painting with multiple colors. How would you handle that? If your child wants to make a red apple with a green leaf, they could create two potatoes. One would have the apple shape and the other the leaf. They would use each one separately and allow the paint to dry completely before adding the second color. Add a third color by making a stem for the apple.

Not everyone keeps tempera paints around the house. However, you can also color the potato with a marker and transfer the color to the paper. The image won’t be as dark as you’d get with paint, but it would still work.

Potato stamping can be so much fun for your young children. They can also create awesome artwork which you’ll be proud to display. Of course, your child may also decide they want to share their masterpieces with others, so be prepared to let some of their work go.