If you are taking a vacation that involves fishing this summer, fish printing is a great way to preserve a couple of fun family vacation memories. Fish Printing, or Gyotaku, is a traditional Japanese art dating from the mid-1800s. Think of it like a pre-Instagram way of recording the size of your catch. In these days of digital media; however, it has evolved into a bit more of an art form. We had the good fortune to learn a bit more about it on vacation in Cape Cod. I wasn't sure how my 2.5 year old daughter would react to painting a fish, but she loved it. Luckily, if she hadn't we had a fake fish on hand to work with too. You can also use this method to create one-of-a-kind t-shirts, a great DIY vacation souvenirs ( I mean, who needs another tie-dye shirt!)
A whole (real or fake; we used both)
Tempera Paint in a variety of colors
Table Covering (newspaper, old table cloth, plastic table cloth)
1. Place the fish flat on the table, and begin covering the fish in thin layers of paint. More experienced hands can use thinner brushes to capture all the details (eyes, scales, fins). You need to work a bit quickly to make sure the paint doesn't actually dry on the fish.
2) Take a sheet of paper and place it over the painted fish, making sure to press down evenly over the fish's body
3) Lift the paper up in one quick movement
You have now made your first fish print! You can simply rinse the fish off with water and start again. Experiment with different colors, textures, and patterns.
Show us what you make. Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag @mommypoppins so we can see your creations too!
Kids' work is to play. WeeWork is a Mommy Poppins series offering an easy daily activity for grown-ups and children to do together, making kids' work an important part of your day. We aim to inspire together time, creativity and fun using only your imagination and things around the house. You can see all our WeeWork activity posts here.
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