Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories Infants and Toddlers Painting Printmaking Theory and Resources

Printing with Toy Trucks

Meghan Burch
Here’s a peek at one of techniques we use in the Art Studio to make visually textured marks on papers that we use for Eric Carle-inspired collages.
A toy car sitting in a tray of paint.

To start, put a little water-based paint (such as tempera) on a tray or plastic plate, roll a toy truck through it, then “drive” it on paper of your choice.

A toy truck with paint on its wheels runs across a black piece of paper.

For making collage papers, we like using tracing paper, Folia Transparent Paper, lightweight drawing paper or construction paper. 

You might cover a table with big sheets of paper and let your young artists go to town. On the other hand, if you need to define a workspace you could put a piece of paper in a large tray or rimmed cookie sheet to help contain the marks.

An oval track shape made from black paper, with toy trucks and trays of paint.

Another fun idea we’ve tried a few times in our toddler programs is offering a black paper “road” taped to the floor for a playful art experience. In these times I’ve offered paint in secondary colors (green, orange and purple) because when they mix all together they create a muddy brown color. If you try this, you might need to add a dab of white to your colors to help them show up on the black paper. 

Happy driving!


Meghan, smiling and wearing a grey shirt with a blue background.

Meghan Burch

Art Educator from 2003-2016, Meghan has a BFA in Illustration from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She tries to think with materials and work with her hands every day.

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