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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Thursday, Friday10 am-3 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 4 pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 4 pm

Closed Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

Accessibility Information

Visit the carle


Making Art Together

Gross-Motor Bubble Wrap Stamping

We offered this exploration to activate our toddler and preschool guests' gross-motor skills. Through printmaking with big, homemade bubble wrap stamps and large sheets of drawing paper, this exploration had kids reaching, crawling, and walking, as well as sharing and turn-taking.

On this particular day, conditions were favorable for creating out on the Art Studio's Terrace, so we were able to accomodate anyone who came to the studio this morning. It was fun for more than our toddler and preschool guests. Big sibs, cousins, and parents all had fun too.

To make the large stamps, we used double sided adhesive to attach pieces of bubble wrap to foam trays, yogurt cups, and other flat-bottomed (clean) food containers. When we make bubble wrap stamps we like to cover the object that will serve as the handle or base with double-sided adhesive and then attach a piece of bubble wrap, slightly larger than the object, and finally trim bubble wrap with scissors. We happen to have 6" double-sided adhesive on a roll, but double-sided tape or glue dots would work too.

For each stamp, we spread about one tablespoon of washable tempera in thin layer in a shallow tray using a palette knife/ink scooper. A rubber spatula or small square of scrap cardboard would do the same.

We added more paint to the trays as needed rather than add too much at the start. Too much paint on a stamp makes for smudgey, gunky images. As an alternative to putting paing in a tray, you could use also use commercially made or homemade stamp pads if you create stamps to fit.

We did need plenty of rocks and heavy trays to keep the papers from flying away. This would also work well on a long strip if wrapping or butcher paper taped (or clipped!) to a picnic or folding table.

The stamped papers could be ejoyed as is, turned into collage paper, a book covers, gift wrap, etc. You get the idea.

Get outside and get creating! 

Many thanks to Art Studio Volunteer Anne C. Taylor for shooting and editing the photos for this post. See more of Anne's photo work at



We enjoy exploring materials and ideas in the Art Studio, and we’re excited to share our process with you! Please consider the following factors when adapting these posts for your learning environment: 

We facilitate a variety of programs within the Art Studio for a wide range of age groups. Please carefully consider the age appropriateness of each individual activity in your own learning environment.

Our projects are always done with adult supervision and proper safety precautions. Be sure all of your projects are overseen by adults who likewise follow proper safety precautions. The adults overseeing your project must also be responsible for handling or assisting with any potentially harmful equipment or materials. 

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is not responsible for any damages, injuries or liabilities that result from any activities contained within this website, and we expressly disclaim any responsibility or liability therefor. From time to time, we reference materials that we have found to be particularly important in our projects. We do not receive any monetary compensation for recommending materials. 


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