Stamping with Natural Materials


Fall is here, and we are so happy to bring the thrill of nature into the classroom. Stamping with natural materials was a fun, hands-on way to apply what our preschool students learn about the seasons, and the rhythms of nature, while exploring painting and printing.



Introduce students to ways to create artwork using natural/found materials, and encourage students to learn about nature by studying these objects.

Target Skills: Collagraphic texture rubbings, stamping with natural objects, using paint, pattern, self-expression, knowledge of the seasons and nature

Materials: Paint, Brushes, Cups to hold paint, Paper, Natural objects (leaves, flowers, sticks)

Prep: Gather natural materials and divide them up to be passed out to students. Portion out colored pencils or paint. Prep heavyweight paper, with students’ names on the backs, for students to use. Spread tablecloths on student tables. Pass out paints, natural materials, and plastic spoons.

Discussion: Talk about different shapes, textures, and the changing of the seasons. Discuss different leaf shapes and go identifying different tree species.  


1. Show students how to dip natural materials in the paint (or apply paint using a paintbrush) and then stamp them on the paper by pressing with a plastic spoon.

2. Show students how they can make patterns or make images using natural stamps.

3. Encourage students to experiment with different objects to create different compositions and images. 

Alternative Version

Instead of using paint, have students place natural materials under their paper and lightly rub the paper with colored pencils to create collagraph drawings.

Students can experiment with how much pressure to use to get just the right amount of detail. They can create different compositions by rearranging the natural materials below their paper.


At the end of each class we set aside a little time for free-drawing in journals we made on the first day of class. Journals are a great way for students to document their ideas for the day, and to introduce students to the idea of a longterm project. Each time we pass out the journals students are excited to continue working on their own personal book. While students free draw we walk around the room and check in with each one. 

Students are eager to recount the story behind a drawing from the previous week, and are excited to explain their new drawings. It’s an exciting way for them to log their ideas, dedicate drawings to people they care about, and to track their growth as artists. Sometimes the lesson of the day makes its way into student journals as well. For example today this young lady drew a tree in her journal after our tree painting and leaf stamping project.


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