I received an email a few days ago from a Scouter Mom who was doing a nature station at a day camp and wanted information about making the eraser prints for Bear elective 12b. Here is some information about it in case anyone else wants to do this.
This method is different from the “end of the pencil” method shown in the Bear handbook. Instead, it uses larger art gum erasers. Obviously, the prints still aren’t going to be full sized, but at least you have something a little larger to work with.
Basically, you are making a relief stamp. Cut away the parts you don’t want to try to get something that looks like a paw print. Then use an ink pad to make the stamps. Making relief stamps can be challenging at first, so make a few on your own before attempting it with a group of 8 year old boys!
Printable copy of Eraser Prints of Animal Tracks
Eraser Prints of Animal Tracks
- Art gum erasers – get the largest you can find
- Small utility knife
- Ballpoint pen
- Ink pad
- Animal print templates (see the printable copy)
- Put an eraser on a piece of paper and trace the size of the eraser on the paper.
- Draw the outline of the print in the area you traced. If the images below are small enough, place them under the first piece of paper and trace them.
- Use the ballpoint pen to trace over the outlines several times so there is plenty of ink on the paper.
- Place the paper back on the eraser so the outline of the eraser lines up with the eraser.
- Being careful not to move the eraser, rub the paper so the ink transfers from the paper to the eraser.
- Remove the paper and fill in the outline of the print on the eraser as necessary.
- Use the utility knife to cut away the “non-track” parts from the eraser. You don’t need to cut away very deep – about 1/8 to ¼ of an inch will do.
- You should now have something which resembles a rubber stamp. Place the stamp on the ink pad and then press onto a clean sheet of paper.
Don’t let young Scouts use the knife. That part should be done by an adult.