Kindergarten Rorschach Prints


a Kindergarten Rorschach Print of a butterflyThis is one of my favorite Kinder­garten lessons, based on the famous Rorschach Ink Blot Test.  The process of mak­ing these prints seems almost mag­i­cal to a five year old who’s doing this for the first time. It com­bines col­or­ful paint with the ele­ment of sur­prise and plenty of imag­i­na­tion… what’s not to love about that?!

I begin by read­ing the book, It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw.  Then we talk about clouds we’ve seen that look like other things, to get our imag­i­na­tions warmed up for this cre­ative project!

The mate­ri­als are simple:

  • 12 x 18 white con­struc­tion paper
  • Red, yel­low and blue tem­pera paint
  • Black tem­pera paint in a small paper cup, watered down a bit so it flows smoothly
  • Skinny paint brush (we use a #2)
  1. Pre-fold your paper, then open it back up and squirt a lit­tle red, yel­low and blue paint onto it.  Be care­ful not to use too much paint or it will come out the edges when the paper is folded again!  (In large classes I have an adult do this step!)
  2. Now, re-fold your paper and smoosh the paint around.  The pri­mary col­ors will mix and blend, mak­ing new sec­ondary col­ors.
  3. Open your paper to “unveil” your new sym­met­ri­cal cre­ation!  Turn your paper dif­fer­ent direc­tions until you “see” some­thing in the design.
  4. Finally, add details with black paint and a skinny brush, to help oth­ers see what you see!

K Rorschach Print - applying paint

Apply paint to pre-folded paper.

Pressing folded paper to "smoosh" paint

Press folded paper to “smoosh” paint.

Unfolding paper to reveal a symmetrical Rorschach Print

Unfold paper to reveal sym­met­ri­cal design.

Student adding details to Rorschach Print with skinny brush

Add details with skinny brush.

You can also do this les­son in two parts.  After your paint dries, you can cut out your design and glue it onto a larger paper, if you want.  Then use mark­ers to add your details.

My stu­dents love watch­ing me demon­strate this process and “vot­ing” on what I should turn my pic­ture into.  Some of the exam­ples below were cre­ated by my stu­dents and a few are from my demos, just for fun!

K Rorschach Print - chicken


K Rorschach Print - a little baby dinosaur

K Rorschach Print - a fish

K Rorschach Print - a rainbow rose

K Rorschach Print - a rainbow artichoke

K Rorschach Print - my kitty

K Rorschach Print - a genie in a lamp

K Rorschach Print - ice cream sundae







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