Human Stamp Roller




Introduction: Human Stamp Roller

About: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (or STEAM) programs at Boston Children’s Museum foster children’s curiosity, creativity, and learning as they try things out and explore the world around them.

Overview: A few years ago, a staff member at Boston Children's Museum sent around this Facebook video. It’s a pretty absurd looking scene; the video shows a gaggle of kids rolling each other around in a giant barrel. Simultaneously, the barrel stamps shapes onto a huge piece of paper. Our STEAM education team loved the video so much that we decided to turn it into reality.

For this activity, building the Human Stamp Roller is half the fun. If you feel comfortable doing so, put kids to work with cardboard saws and glue guns. Once the Stamp Roller is ready to go, you've got hours of printing ahead of you!

Skills focus:

  • Envisioning
  • Creative expression
  • 2D and 3D design
  • Persistence
  • Tool use
  • Collaboration

Recommended ages: all ages

Estimated project time: 1 hour to make the Stamp Roller; kids can play with it for hours!


To make the Human Stamp Roller:

- Saws (we love these kid-friendly cardboard saws!)

- Pool noodles in different shapes and sizes

- Hot glue guns

- Hot glue. You will need at least 10 sticks of glue!

- Sturdy cardboard drums or bins. We got ours here. We have used 30, 55, and 75 gallon drums for this project.

To play with the Human Stamp Roller:

- Tarps

- Large butcher paper

- Paint. We recommend washable tempera paint!

- Paint cups

- Paint brushes

Step 1: Assemble Materials

To create the Human Stamp Roller, gather and assemble: hot glue guns, hot glue sticks, cardboard saws, pool noodles, and your large cardboard drum.

Step 2: Cut Pool Noodles

Using the cardboard saws, cut your pool noodles into slices. Make sure that the slices are all similar in thickness. We cut ours to be about 2 inches thick. Try cutting noodles in half to create different shapes!

Step 3: Attach Pool Noodles

Using the hot glue guns, spread an even amount of hot glue on each pool noodle slice. Attach the pool noodles to the drum. We did ours in lines and rows, but you could do it however you like! Arranging by color doesn't matter, because soon the pool noodles will be covered in paint.

Step 4: Play!

Now that you've made your Human Stamp Roller, it's time to play with it! Kids may engage with the Stamp Roller in many different ways, based on their age and comfort level.

General Set-Up:

- Find an open, flat area. A safe driveway or yard works well. We used the boardwalk outside of the Museum.

- Place tarps on the ground. You will want to give kids a runway that is at least 10 feet. We used multiple tarps layered together to cover the area we Stamp Rolled on.

- Place butcher paper over the tarps. Again, you may want to overlap and layer.

- Place paint and brushes in paint cups.

- Invite kids to help paint the stamp roller. Have them apply generous amounts of paint to the pool noodle slices.

- Roll the Stamp Roller! Some kids may feel adventurous enough to get inside the Stamp Roller! They can use their own momentum to roll it or may want help from other kids to push it. If no one wants to get in it, you can all push it together or take turns pushing it down the runway.

- For younger children: Many young children will love painting the pool noodle pieces and helping to push the Stamp Roller. You can also offer them spare pool noodle slices to paint and stamp with on their own.

- The paper will get soggy after repeated stamping. Replace it with fresh paper when necessary.

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    3 years ago

    So colourful to kids..... really they enjoy it...


    3 years ago

    I love this! Such an awesome idea and fun and exciting activity for kids!


    3 years ago

    Seems like a lot of fun :)


    3 years ago

    What a fun project for kids!