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12 Fun Stamping Ideas for Hours of Open-ended Art

I keep encouraging and reminding myself to have Pari do as many open-ended art activities as possible.

By open-ended art, I mean – art that does not begin and does not progress with any expectation of how the final product should look like. There are no samples or models to follow.

Open-ended art is all about experiencing and enjoying the process and learning from it rather than working toward a certain product.

In early childhood especially, the importance of open-ended art experiences holds supreme importance. Toddlers, pre-school age children and even kindergartners are at the stage where they need to be allowed to explore as many art material as possible. They need to be allowed to follow their curiosity and imagination.

Telling them 'what' to do, and 'how' to do will stifle their natural instinct to explore and learn

There are different types of open-ended art  – purely open-ended, theme-based open-ended, material-based open-ended and so on. 

I will discuss in another post about all these ways that we follow in our home.

But, in this post, I will share some fun stamping ideas that will provide for hours of creative freedom to a child.

Pari does these often at home and each provides a unique experience in itself. 

12 Interesting Stamping Ideas for Kids

1. Bubble Wraps

I keep plenty of bubble wraps always handy for Pari to indulge. The textures of a bubble wrap also provides nice sensory experience to a child. The child can also define the impressions by using marker pens.

For a baby or toddler, the bubble wrap can be a wonderful toy by itself – even without the colours.

2. Wooden Blocks

Both Pari and I love stamping with wooden blocks. Pari has been doing this since she was a toddler. They can be stamped on paper, fabric or even wall.

You can have them create designer wrapping papers to pack gifts for their friends' birthdays and other occasions.

3. Crepe Papers

Due to its texture, Crepe paper lends itself beautifully to stamping activity.

4. Darts

The plastic darts that come with toy pistols or as part of Bow and Arrow kits can be excellent stamping tools. They reveal intricate patterns when lifted.

5. Vegetable Cross sections

Lady finger, Bitter Gourd, Broccoli, carved potato – all these can be used to stamp on paper or fabric. Just make sure not to use too much paint or the print will be smudged. They can stamp on an old T Shirt to recycle and renovate it.

6. Feathers

Besides stamping with feathers, hunting for feathers can be an interesting activity during nature walks. Pari and I love doing this…!

7. Shells

Because shells provide a hard surface, they stamp well on fabric rather than paper. You can have the child stamp with shells on their old T Shirts, pilow covers, handkerchiefs, fabric mats etc.

8. Petals and Leaves

It's amazing to see what incredibly beautiful patterns can be made with whole flowers, petals and leaves. Pari does this to make greeting cards for festivals like Holi or Teacher's Day.

Leaves can be stamped in a way to create animal figures, flower patterns, mandalas, rangolis and more. 

9. Cardboard tubes with pasted strings

These create natural-looking grass pattern. You can have the child do this on a big sheet of construction paper and then use it for gift wrapping. Or, you can place a cardboard stencil of a animal figure and roll the tube over it – like we did in the picture above.

10. Hands and Feet

Stamping or printing with their own hands/palms and feet is any day the most favourite activity. Sunflowers (like Putti at Putti Prapancha made), mandalas, rangolis, peacocks – anything can be made using multiple hand prints. The child can stamp even with his feet after wearing shoes too. The impressions from shoes dipped in paint create amazing prints and is so much fun too. They can use paint or coloured shaving cream for a special sensory experience

11. Packaging Material

12. Sponges and Scrubs

Other Knick Knacks

Corrugated cardboard, egg carton, comb, fork, tooth brush, bottle base of different shapes – there are so many options! 

Give the child cues and let his/her imagination go wild! Here's one example of how stamping can be used to create a full-fledged picture story.

No wonder stamping is an amazing way to encourage hours of open-ended art and play  –  be it for toddlers, a preschoolers or even older kids.

Why only kids, even mommies can indulge in some stamping/printing time for stress relief. I love stamping and printing on some old stoles/dupattas and T-Shirts to renovate them.

Here's one of those stoles/dupattas that I stamped on with carved wooden blocks using fabric paint.

Any other unique stamping ideas you do not see in my list.

Please share.

Update on July 24, 2011: This article was featured on –

The Sunday Showcase

Classified: Mom

High Paw: Show Us Your Best

Best toys for toddlers


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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ashu July 14, 2011, 12:23 pm

    Wow…Rashmie we have done lot of stamping work .Hey amazing u have bagful of ideas for same…will surely try the same with Khwaish.
    Hey in veg stamping capsicum and onion also gives lovely imprints.

    And reall y cute pic of Pari..How old she is in pic.

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 14, 2011, 12:55 pm

      Yeah, capsicum and onions make for beautiful prints too. Good you reminded :)

      Pari is about 3 yrs in that picture wearing her stamped T Shirt and hat. :)

  • Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree July 14, 2011, 12:26 pm

    WOW Rashmie! What a Fabulous post! Love the variety! Can’t wait to try some of these ideas!

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 14, 2011, 12:56 pm

      Thank you :) Glad you liked the ideas. Stamping is pure fun and so very stress releasing. Loved your pool noodles prints today.. :)

  • Laura@art4littlehands July 14, 2011, 12:37 pm

    I love your list. I feel like a failure because we don’t do much stamping. You have inspired me. She is a beautiful artist!

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 14, 2011, 12:59 pm

      Never mind if you haven’t done much stamping yet. You do so many other nature related activities with you kids that we apartment dwellers aren’t able to – as much as we’d like to… :(

      But, when you guys are indoors, stamping can be a great activity. Actually, outdoors too. You can use that same dart smeared with paint (in the post above) to shoot at a paper and make prints. You can throw balloons filled with watered down paint!
      That reminds me, we haven’t done that balloon throwing activity in a while. Must do tomorrow..!

  • Roopa @ Putti prapancha July 14, 2011, 12:57 pm

    This is a FUNtastic post!!! Stamping is so much fun and so simple to set up too. Have done many of these from the list, you have inspired me to try more. Mary Ann Kohl’s ‘Art with Anything’ is a wonderful book :)

    Thanks for the link to Putti’s Hanprint Sunflower !!

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 14, 2011, 1:02 pm

      Thank you :) Yes, you’re right – stamping so so much easy to set up too. Set up and leave! And let the kids do as they wish to… :)
      That book by Mary Ann Kohl – it’s on my ‘to buy’ list for some time now. She’s so inspiring!
      Putti’s sunflower print was lovely!

  • char July 14, 2011, 1:07 pm

    Love the idea for wrapping paper

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 15, 2011, 7:57 am

      Thank you, Char. Yeah, handmade gift wrapping papers give so much joy and satisfaction in making and reflects to the receiver the thought and love that has gone into it…

  • preethi July 14, 2011, 1:10 pm

    Lovely Stamping idea’s Rashmie..they are so easy to start with as well… definitely going to try this with Rishi…

    This site s really inspiring..n provides bundles of ideas…..Keep going dear!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 15, 2011, 6:26 am

      Thank you for stopping by to share your comment. So glad you like these ideas and are going to try with your son.

  • Kate @ Puddles and Gumboots July 14, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Wow, there are some amazing stamping ideas here!!! I’m inspired, I think we will get the paints out this weekend and do some stamping. You’ve listed some ideas that would never have occurred to me….I am going to have a think with the kids and see what other things we can come up with to do some stamping art with :-)

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 15, 2011, 6:28 am

      So glad you like these ideas and are inspired to do some stamping. I’d love to know what other ideas you guys come up with…

  • Esther July 14, 2011, 7:30 pm

    Wow Rashmie! what an collection of stamping ideas! I would love to try the activity 8 and 9. Thanks for the mention and feature from my blog!

  • Rashmie Jaaju July 15, 2011, 6:30 am

    Thank you for your comment.
    The activity 8 and 9 are really fun. Pari keeps doing those from time to time.

  • cathy @ nurturestore July 17, 2011, 8:30 am

    I know you already have veggies but we love *carrots* because they’re easy to carve into dofferent designs and really easy for little hands to grasp hold of (easier than potatoes I find). Here’s what we did with ours: http://nurturestore.co.uk/valentine-carrot-printing

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 18, 2011, 4:34 am

      Hi Cathy,
      Yes, absolutely – Carrots make for great stamping tools as they can be carved on so easily and are easy to hold for little hands.
      Pari loved stampingwith carrots at age 2 and 3. I loved your valentine carrot stamping post…!

  • amy (mamascout) July 17, 2011, 11:31 am

    so many great ideas! i think i love bubble wrap printing the best. your bog looks great!

    we just posted on one of our printmaking projects last week:

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 18, 2011, 5:30 am

      Thank you, Amy for stopping by to share your thoughts. Yeah, bubble wrap printing is so much fun and the results are beautiful.
      Loved your hand-printed wrapping paper… :)

  • amy (mamascout) July 17, 2011, 11:31 am

    blog not bog!

  • Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas July 17, 2011, 4:12 pm

    so much fun! :) Love this – my girls enjoy stamping & painting & you used some fun things to work/play with.

    Stop by & link up to this week’s Sunday Showcase – http://momto2poshlildivas.blogspot.com/2011/07/ocean-theme-tissue-paper-foil-rainbow.html


    • Rashmie Jaaju July 21, 2011, 9:20 am

      Hi Bernadette,
      Thank you for stopping by to comment. I love Sunday Showcase and love the ideas shared there.
      Will link up whenever I get an opportunity… :)

  • Lori July 18, 2011, 5:12 pm

    Fantastic ideas for endless stamping fun. Thanks for sharing your ideas. You are an inspiration. I shared it on Montessori MOMents facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/?sk=lf#!/pages/Montessori-MOMents/186597394722411

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 21, 2011, 8:43 am

      Thank you, Lori for stopping by to comment and for sharing this on your blog Facebook page. I’m now following you on Twitter :)

  • Laura@art4littlehands July 19, 2011, 7:03 pm

    I have to thank you for putting this on my art party. It is a wonderful post and I had fun re-looking at it again today. I will be trying out these ideas. Yesterday my kids did vegetable prints at a library workshop I signed them up for and they loved it.

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 21, 2011, 8:45 am

      So glad you guys did vegetable printing. This library workshop sounds a fun thing to have to get children involved in activities.

  • creativejewishmom/sara July 20, 2011, 9:28 am

    wow great post! we just did stamping on tissue paper and it’s so gorgeous for crafting with! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday and for your oh so important message, wish I’d known this when my kids were toddlers, just a few years too late…..sigh!

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 21, 2011, 8:46 am

      Stamping on tissue paper is something we haven’t done yet. It’ll be fun to try. Thanks for sharing.

  • maggy, red ted art July 20, 2011, 6:27 pm

    How very beautiful! And yes, I can see how you can spend hours creating all these fabulous different ways of painting, printing and stamping! Love making wrapping paper too, so all these ideas are perfect! Wonderful indeed. Thank you.

    And thanks again for linking to kids get crafty!


    • Rashmie Jaaju July 21, 2011, 9:01 am

      Thank you, dear Maggy, for your sweet comment and for giving this opportunity to link-up, share and learn from creative mommies around the world, including yourself :)

  • Michelle Willow July 22, 2011, 5:36 am

    Awesome post! Love your round up posts and shared this one as recommended reading on this week’s High paw :)

    • Rashmie Jaaju July 22, 2011, 6:18 am

      Hi Michelle,
      I am glad you like the recent round-up of posts…
      Thank you for recommending this on High Paw. I so appreciate the gesture… :)

  • Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas July 22, 2011, 10:24 pm

    Awesome ideas here – this will be featured on this week’s Sunday Showcase! Thanks so much for sharing! :)


    • Rashmie Jaaju July 28, 2011, 4:25 am

      Thank you, Bernadette, for featuring this on Sunday Showcase :)

  • Hettalnarayan December 18, 2011, 7:04 am

    it’s very very nice………………………………….I like

  • m.priya July 3, 2012, 1:37 pm

    i want idea about family stamping i want ur help plz

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