I always like to include a bit of art into every preschool day. We do a lot of painting and color experimenting and gluing and such, but I wanted to try something different with my preschoolers. That is when I decided to have my preschoolers make their own pipe cleaner stamps. It was very well received.
Pipe cleaner stamps are easy to make and inexpensive. My favorite part of using pipe cleaner to make our own stamps, however, is that my preschoolers get to help me every (well, almost) step of the way. Each preschooler get to make their own stamp of their own design. Once all the stamps are made, they get to stamp like crazy on an extra, extra large sheet of paper!
In a loose definition, this activity would be considered process art, which is so important for preschoolers! As the name implies, process art is more about the process of making art, rather than the outcome or product. While many times the product is truly beautiful or aesthetically intriguing, the focus on the instruction and art making still lies in the process. That is why I wanted my preschoolers to help as much as possible. Each student took complete ownership over their stamp and stamping paper.
Materials for pipe cleaner stamps
- pipe cleaner
- kitchen scissors or wire cutters
- wooden block
- hot glue gun and hot glue
- washable tempera paintfor stamping
- easel paper
How to make pipe cleaner stamps
- Use a pair of kitchen shears or wire cutters to cut down a stem of pipe cleaner into 2 to 4 inch pieces. You can use traditional pipe cleaner stem, or jumbo pipe cleaners, depending on the look you would like for the stamp.
- Invite your preschooler to shape the pieces as they please.
- Hot glue the pieces onto a wooden block (adults only, please).
- Once cooled, invite your preschooler to paint the pipe cleaner with washable tempura paint to begin stamping on a large sheet of easel paper.
My preschoolers made a variety of shapes with the pipe cleaner, and some even attempted to make letter. This student made the letter J for his name. Another student wanted to make a triangle and a letter C.
My students worked hard stamping. Some students would stamp very carefully making sure that no stamp touched another stamp, loading the pipe cleaner with more paint before each new stamp. Others did a series of stamps one right after the other, overlapping the stamping until there was no paint left on the pipe cleaner to make any more stamps.
Instead of giving each student their own sheet of paper, I rolled out a long sheet of easel paper over the length of our preschool table. I was interested to see how the students would set up boundaries and how they would establish rules for stamping while sharing one sheet of paper. As one student quickly filled his share of the paper, another student complained when he began to impede on her space. Corinne suggested that he move to another part of the table to continue his stamping. Problem solved.
Once our sheet of easel paper was full of stamps and had dried, I carefully cut the sheet up and sent a piece of stamping home with each student.And of course I had to save a piece to keep at preschool.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.