We bought stamps for the first time a couple weeks ago and the girls were instantly hooked. After only a couple of uses though, the stamp pad was already running dry and was a total mess. What a bummer! If you've ever done stamping with kids, I'm sure you've been there. It can be expensive to replace and often short-lived.
When dreaming up this activity, I really wanted to find a way to practice numbers more with the girls and work on our number recognition. I found awesome cardboard shape stamp tutorials online and decided to give it a try with numbers and they were a hit! Easy to just draw by hand (they don't need to be perfect!) and then just peel one side of the cardboard off to reveal the wavy pattern that will become the stamp. I cut an extra piece to make a little handle with that I hot glued on. This was all done this morning before breakfast and probably took me a total of 15 minutes to make the 1-3 numbers. Not bad for an art prep!
Then, the part I was REALLY excited about. I found a tutorial on @housingaforest for DIY stamp pads! I had seen some before with sponges but I don't have any extra sponges laying around so was really excited to see this one use felt.
Here's what you need:
Flat container/surface- I used yogurt lids and they were perfect!
Felt (any color works!)
I used the lid and traced it on the felt to cut out a circle that would fit snuggly. Then I put about 3 tbs of tempera paint in each yogurt lid (take the felt out before you do this) and added a pinch of salt! Apparently, the salt helps to thin the paint a little so it can absorb and spread easier to make the stamp pad- totally genius! I mixed each color a little to make sure it was a nice consistency, think runny but not pouring. Add more salt if need be but do it slowly! You don't want it to be as runny as water, think more like a smoothie.
Once the paint is the right consistency, place the circle of felt on top and gently press down all around until you see paint starting to absorb and come through. Voila! Your very own stamp pad! I was SO impressed and they worked really well.
The girls were instantly in love. We stamped our numbers and reviewed them in Spanish and then once they had moved on from that we looked all around our house for other things to stamp with! Corks and bottle caps, pipe cleaners- we even went outside and used some pinecones and different leaves. What was originally going to be a quick and focused art project turned into an amazing morning of exploration together as we stamped, mixed colors and explored shapes and numbers. I placed the stamp pads in ziplock bags to use another time and am SO happy I will no longer be confined to the short lived store stamp pads.
Words we practiced in Spanish:
Sello (seh-yoh) --Stamp
Rojo (roh-hoh)-- Red
Azul (ah-sool)-- Blue
Sellar (seh-yahr)-- To stamp
Uno (oo-noh) -- One
Dos (dohs) -- Two
Tres (trehs)-- Three
Give this a try and let me know how it goes! We'll be making more stamps in the next few weeks with items around the house, stay tuned!