I hope you’re having a great time with this challenge. Today we’re moving into new territory with collage materials: scrap paper, fabric, treasures, and glue. These tactile materials encourage children to consider composition (how they want to arrange their art work), make choices through the selection of materials, and understand that any object can be turned into art.
Today’s bonus: Art Start Challenge Playlist on Spotify. These songs are curated for kids to create art to, and will provide your maker session with a bouncy, inspiring musical backdrop. If you don’t already have a Spotify account, it’s free (with ads) or there’s a paid version that’s ad-free.
Today’s quick tip – Mitigate the Mess.
Do you fear messes and is it stopping you from setting up art projects for your child? Before we dive into today’s art-making sesh, let’s touch on how to manage the mess before things get out of control. You may be surprised to know that even I — the self-professed fan of glitter — am not always eager to turn my home into the aftermath of a tornado. However, mess-making is part of the creative process and it’s important to give children the opportunity to have room to go a little crazy. Our job is to feel more in control when messes are on the horizon.
Some of the mess-related challenges that I’ve heard over the years are from those who…
- have very little time, making it even harder to add clean-up to the mix
- have a SO who’s less than thrilled about a messy home
- have an art table that doubles as a dining table, and has to be cleared off regularly
- are in a small space and it’s hard to contain the mess
Obviously, we don’t all find messes limiting, but if this is a challenge that you face, take a moment to read this article that’s filled with real tips from parents like you and me: 24 Tips for Cleaning up Art Messes with Kids
p.s. Did you try using a cookie sheet or tray on Day 1? This is one of my favorite ways to contain a mess!
Prompt: Texture Collage
- Texture scraps such as: wrapping paper, foil, doilies, cut up paper bags, fabric pieces, tissue paper, cotton balls, Sequins*
- White Glue
- Fat paintbrush
- Bowl for the glue
- Heavy Paper or cardboard
- Squeeze a small amount of white glue into a bowl.
- Add a fat paintbrush to the bowl.
- Cut papers and fabric into small, manageable pieces. You could cut them into squares, circles, triangles — and even use this as an opportunity to discuss shapes.
- *Note: Be cautious using small objects with young children — please use your best judgement!
- Set up a piece of heavy paper or cardboard to add the pieces to.
…will enjoy creating a composition by arranging objects on the heavy surface.
Tip: I like to offer young children a bowl of glue plus a brush, rather than a glue bottle, because it gives them more control. If your child wants to try using a glue bottle, go for it. Glue bottles can be tricky for toddlers to squeeze, but the experience can also be incredibly fun (and excellent for developing hand muscles) once they get the hang of it. Be prepared for a lot of glue being “wasted,” but know that this is all part of the learning experience.
- Offer paper with patterns or colors to match seasons or holidays such as this example of a Winter Collage table set up.
- Turn cut snowflakes into a winter collage.
- Show proper glue stick use: Just twist it up a little bit at a time.
- Talk about the different textures: soft, bumpy, smooth, sticky, etc.
- Limit your texture items to one color family such as warm colors or shades of green.
- Make a collage with sticky contact and tissue papers.
- Add stickers or colorful tape to the mix
- Be alert if you are offering small items such as sequins to young children.
Check out Phyllida Barlow’s enormous collage of recycled wood and waste material at London’s Tate Britain Museum.