Easy Nature Craft for Kids: Squash Prints

By freshlyplanted - 7:33 PM

Inside: Inspired by "The Pumpkin Book" by Gail Gibbons, these easy nature prints are a fun way to explore print-making and pumpkins with kids! 

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Fall has arrived in our hills! Since we live in the Midwest, our seasons are tied into local crops. The planting, the growing, and now the harvesting. The cornfields we drive past daily are cropped close, the wheat fields neatly tied into bundles, and the soybeans left to dry for a little bit longer. 

Our little community garden plot is almost harvested as well. The tomatoes are done, and only turnips and green onions remain. 

And our local orchard has its pumpkins ready, too!

It was these pumpkins that inspired this craft. First of all, our littlest wanted to "see inside her pumpkin." Then we realized that our small pumpkins are quite different, and the kids wanted to compare the different shapes.

What better way to "see inside" then to cut them open and make prints? 

Easy Nature Craft: Squash Prints

  • Tempera Paint: yellow, red
  • Butcher block paper (or any large paper. Amazon packing paper works great!) 
  • Small squash cut in half, carefully, by an adult

  • Carefully scoop out seeds, leaving rind intact. We did one with seeds and one without- they both worked great. 
  • Lay paper on a surface. If the weather allows, this is a great outside craft! You can also do this on a plastic tablecloth on the floor, taped to a wall, or at the table. 
  • Squirt small dollops of red and yellow paint onto a plastic plate or other reusable palette. Cardboard or plastic lids are also handy. 
  • Start printing!

  • Compare the different shapes not only made by the pumpkins, but the space inside the pumpkin too. What about the spaces where pumpkins print overlap?
  • What happens as the red and yellow mix? Does it take more yellow to make red into orange, or the other way round? 
  • How does the paint feel as you continue printing with it? Does it get easier or harder or print with? How does your palette feel? 
  • Why won't your picture stay wet forever? (The water will evaporate out of the paint, leaving only the pigment behind!


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