Fold and Squash Printing


Squashing paint in paper to make a symmetrical pattern

Advice & Suitability

If there is some important bit of safety advice, this could go here and/or general text about who it is suitable for etc etc. If it isn’t needed, just delete it.

Materials Required

  1. Paper
  2. Spoons
  3. Plate
  4. Marker or pencil
  5. Washable paints
  6. Paint apron or old t-shirt
  7. Water (optional)
  8. Baby wipes (optional)
  9. Glue and sparkles to add extra decorations (optional)


Set up paints on plate. – Add spoons. – Have water or baby wipes on hand for cleaning up. – Have a paint apron or paint shirt on hand for your child to wear. – Have paper in place. – Protect your table surface with a piece of plastic or newspaper.

Method (or Ideas)

  1. Show your child all the different colour paints.
  2. Fold piece of paper in half.
  3. Encourage your child to put paint on the paper using spoons.
  4. Fold paper in half.
  5. Rub paint with your fingers so the paint moves around between the folded piece of paper.
  6. Unfold the piece of paper to reveal the paint design.
  7. Talk to your child about the symmetrical pattern that has been made on the paper.

Facilitation Tips – What To Say

  • Paint
  • Butterfly
  • Wings
  • Colours e.g. red, blue, yellow etc.
  • Patterns
  • This side is a reflection of this side
  • Symmetry
  • Reflection

Extend the Experience

  • Cut out the design when it is dry and turn into a puppet on a stick.
  • Decorate your childs bedroom with symmetrical artworks.
  • Use the symmetrical painting as a card to give to a close family member or special friend.

WHO Guidelines for Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour

This is a quiet activity, so children will need to engage in physical activity during the day as well. Perhaps you and your child could move around like butterflies!

Early Years Learning Framework


  1. Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating
  2. Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials


Principle 3: High expectations and equity. Children progress well when they, their parents and educators hold high expectations for their achievement in learning.


Practice: Learning through play. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn. In these ways play can promote positive dispositions towards learning. Children’s immersion in their play illustrates how play enables them to simply enjoy being.

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