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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

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Making Art Together

Printing with Children: Roll with It!

Recently here in the Art Studio, Hannah Fiske, one of our summer interns, designed and hosted a special Studio activity. Here is her report of the day.

 Roll with It!

The Studio has done so many amazing projects in the past that when I started thinking about my Special Sunday I was a little intimidated, but as soon as I began to generate ideas I became engrossed in the possibilities and excitement overtook nerves. I ended up settling on the idea of using round objects as printing tools. I thought it would be interesting and fun to take objects such as wiffle balls or tennis balls, normally used for sports, and transform them into tools to create art.

 Roll with It!

To begin, I gathered all the colorful round objects I could find, wiffle balls, balls of yarn, tennis balls, squishy foam balls, mini footballs and more, and experimented with how to use them for my project. One of my favorite printing tools ended up being the wiffle balls. Through a discussion with Diana I came up with the idea of adding sticky backed foam shapes to them to create interesting patterns on their surfaces. I brushed a layer of Mod Podge over the foamy pieces to prevent them from peeling off too quickly. If you do this activity at your home or school, for cleanup I  recommend quickly rinsing any excess paint off the surfaces and allowing them to dry thoroughly before storing them. Roll with It!

 We were lucky enough to have a wonderfully sunny day on the day of my project, and I setup on the Art Studio's outdoor patio. Along the patio's ledge I made paint stations by color: pink, yellow, green and blue; people could work from either end and easily move from color to color.

 Roll with It!   DSC_0112

To help kids keep the yellow printing tools with the yellow paint station, and so on, I coordinated the colors of the printing tools to the paint colors, making it easy for kids to organize the supplies themselves. For inking the tools I used the the homemade stamp pads, like the ones the Studio has made in the past. Click here for the directions to make your own stamp pads with washable paint. The stamp pads allowed for the objects to get covered in paint without becoming too wet or clogged. The large size of the custom stamp pad also allowed guests to roll the printing tools around, getting paint on many sides.

 Roll with It!

While I wanted everyone to be able to create their own image, I also thought it would be fun to have a large group project, especially because the larger paper would allow the kind of activity these sport objects were originally meant for. A brother and sister played catch, rolling and bouncing the tools along the larger paper to create marks. Others created giant butterflies and flowers.

 Roll with It! DSC_0071

By the end of the day I was amazed by how many creative and diverse approaches people had come up with, dropping, rolling, twisting, stamping, dragging and much more!

 Roll with It!

Watching guests' creativity bloom in the Studio has been one of the most exciting things to experience during my time at the Carle! Roll with It!

I had a wonderful time putting together and leading my special Sunday. Thanks to everyone who came out and created with us!



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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