Thursday, December 4, 2008

ARTSY FARTSY: upcycled collages

For installment #1 of ARTSY FARTSY I decided to share one of Captain's absolute favorite art activities - collage. This isn't anything ground-breaking or wildly creative on my part, but often the simplest activities are the best. Collage works best for tiny hands when you provide them with 3D materials instead of the more typical collage materials like paper and pictures. I like to give my kids garbage to collage with.

PROJECT: Collage
AGES: 2 and up
MATERIALS: I keep a big plastic bin filled with stuff just for collage. The tiny things I store in old play doh containers. I'll list what I keep in my collage box, but this isn't an exact recipe. Be creative and collage with the stuff that works for your kids
  • scrap cardboard (we cut up all our boxes from food, diapers and toys)
  • white school glue (this is the real draw for Captain - squeezing out big oozy piles of glue)
  • glitter glue (this is the only type of glitter allowed in my house. I hate glitter)
  • scrap paper (my kids have no idea the value of the fancy shmancy papers in their collages - they get all my scraps from wedding stationery jobs)
  • buttons
  • jingle bells
  • googly eyes
  • jar lids and can tabs (I keep a bowl on the kitchen counter for collecting these)
  • scarp ribbon
  • pom poms
  • scrap fabric
  • pebbles, leaves and twigs from our backyard
  • safety scissors


Lay some newspaper on the table (makes clean up later WAY easier) and put your kiddo in some sort of smock (mine wear my old t-shirts).

Give your kiddo a piece of cardboard to use as a base, a bottle of glue and some stuff to stick to the cardboard. I find they do better if you only offer 2 or 3 materials to attach at first. Too much stuff and they get overwhelmed.

Start glueing! You'll probably need to teach them how to operate the glue bottle or squeeze it for them if they aren't strong enough. It will be messy and your child will use FAR more glue than necessary to attach items to the cardboard. But that is ok; like I said, squeezing out the oozy glue is the most fun part! Captain especially likes to glue on a jar lid and then fill the lid with glue and glitter glue. If I nag he'll sometimes toss a few buttons in there.

When it is all done leave it flat to dry so the glue doesn't all run off. Scoop everything else up in the newspaper and toss in the garbage. That is it! Like I said, this one is very simple. Definitely not rocket science. But it is fun and cheap.

Have fun and let me know if you try it with your kids. I'd love to hear how it goes!

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