Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eat like a Superhero, and Stamp Like a Pro!

I wanted to share a food pyramid project that I did in college when I was studying to be an elementary school art teacher:

I think the food pyramid has been updated since then, but this was the correct food pyramid at the time. This is great activity to teach kids about the food pyramid because you can brainstorm what kinds of food are in each group before drawing them. It was done by making stamps from styrofoam meat trays, and I'm going to show you how to use the same technique! (Are you excited? You should be! This really is a cool project to do with kids!)

What you'll need:

  • Styrofoam Trays
  • Scissors
  • A Pen or Dull Pencil
  • Paint
  • Fabric or heavy paper for stamping
  • A Brayer is highly recommended, but you may also use a paint brush or sponge. You can get a brayer at any crafts store such as Michael's.
Printmaking with Styrofoam Trays- the how to!
  1. Wash and dry your meat trays. You could also use the styrofoam from to-go boxes or even styrofoam plates (if you're determined to spend money ;-)
  2. Cut to desired size and shape.
  3. Draw your design into the styrofoam using a dull pencil or pen. Keep in mind that when you stamp, it will appear as a mirror image, so words should be written accordingly.
  4. Squeeze some paint onto a plate and us a brayer to "ink" the stamp. If you don't have a brayer, you can carefully use a paint brush or a sponge to apply the paint, taking care not to get paint into the groves.
  5. Stamp onto heavy paper or some fabric and apply pressure to every spot of the styrofoam.
  6. Peel up and voila! You've just made a custom stamp!

Here are some details of my food pyramid:

Here are some other children's projects done using the same technique:

I've always had big plans to take my fabric food pyramid and stretch it over a bullitan board. Then I could have a system where every family member could have a designated color of thumbtack and keep track with how many servings of each food group they had eaten that day... but that's never happened. Maybe I could benefit from that more than the kids ;-)


Michelle Sybert said...

wow! this is awesome! I'll be linking to it this sunday!

MochaTrina@Me So Hongry... said...

Pretty cool!! This looks like a project my special ed students may enjoy.

Ticia said...

I'd forgotten about making styrofoam stamps. Thanks for posting this and reminding me!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

How cool! I love the pyramid! My friend Valerie over at the Frugal Family Fun blog does this with old meat trays. I always love finding ways to do cool crafts even cheaper. Thanks for the inspiration!


Val in the Rose Garden said...

Nevermind, on second read, you mentioned the meat trays. AWESOME! :) (I am such a dork.)