Sunday, November 1, 2009

Works for Me Monday: Balloon Stamping

It's time for another Works for Me Monday. Last week I had a great idea for a post. Of course, I didn't write it down and now I can't remember what it was. So instead I'll post about one of my favorite art techniques, balloon stamping. I learned about balloon stamping from a video produced by the folks who make Biocolor paints. The video contains examples of lots of fun way to use these paints and is worth checking out if you can find a copy.

To balloon stamp, you need a partially inflated balloon, at least three colors of paint, a paint pallette (we use paper plates), and your project. Put a small pool of each color of paint (approximately dime size) on your pallette right next to each other so they are touching and form a triangle. It is preferably if the pools touch. Then dip the end of your balloon into the paint, dab off a bit, and stamp onto your project multiple times by bouncing the balloon. You get a really cool marble or tie-dye effect. We have yet to find a color combination that doesn't work.

I particularly like this technique for several reasons. I work with kids with little to no fine motor control. However, even my most involved student can bounce a balloon with help. They also like the feedback they get from the bouncing. In addition, this technique facilitates multiple opportunities to make choices, an important part of any art project for us. It also lets the kids show their individuality both in the colors they choose and how they stamp (lots of stamping close together or a little stamping far apart and everything in between). It is also a nice "no fail" technique. No matter what the student does, the project will come out looking nice

We use this technique all the time. We have made backgrounds for bulletin boards, t-shirts, greeting cards and stationery, as well as too many art projects to count (check out the constellations we did in this post). Using balloon stamping works for us. What works for you?

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