February 24, 2013

Shamrocks and Shaving Cream: Monoprints For Kids

Shamrocks and Shaving Cream 

These interesting shamrocks were created as monoprints.  In monoprinting each image is created uniquely and can never be printed exactly the same again.  

Most monoprints are created on paper, but we chose to use craft foam.  Our green tempera paint was mixed with shaving cream.

Craft Foam
(click for Amazon.com) 


  • Six months ago I introduced Calvin to finger painting with shaving cream, but he just wasn't interested. Now that he's older, I thought I'd try again and see what happened.

  • I sprayed a mound of shaving cream into a shallow tray, and Calvin and I spread it around with our fingers.  Well, I did most of the spreading.  It took Calvin a while to warm up to the shaving cream. 

  • Our next step was to squirt green tempera paint on top of the shaving cream.

  • Calvin laid a shamrock on top, and then pressed it into the shaving cream and paint.

  • Calvin didn't like pulling the shamrock out of the paint mixture, so that became my job.

  • When the shamrocks were dry, we displayed them with our other St. Patrick's Day decorations.

Click to find instructions for Torn Paper Shamrocks.

Note: Some readers may be accustomed to monoprinting on paper where the artist scraps the shaving cream off to reveal the print. When printing on foam, scrapping is not necessary.  

Extend the Activity:

Here are two more monoprinting ideas I found on You Tube.

  • Monoprint Discovery is a very short video showing a young child making a monoprint.  It's in Spanish, but you'll get the idea.

  • Crayon Monoprinting Tutorial by Linda Celestian is for older children and adults.  Linda uses a hot plate and crayons to make some beautiful monoprints.

Do you have a comment or a suggestion?  I'd love to hear from you.

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