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 CREATIVE COLLAGE IDEAS

Be sure to include a lot of open-ended art activities when working with young children. Collages are fun and inexpensive and allow children to practice creative and problem-solving skills.

Here are a variety of collage ideas you can do successfully with toddlers and preschoolers.

PAINT COLLAGE
Here is a fun yet simple activity for preschoolers.
Let your child help you cut or tear out small pictures from magazines.
Then, lay out a large sheet of paper for your child.
Set out one or more colors of paint and let your child cover their paper with paint.
Then, have your child place the small pictures however he wants on top of the paint.
Let dry. The pictures should stick to the paint.
Hang collage up to admire.
 
COLOR COLLAGES
You can use the collage idea above to make different color collages with young children.
Choose a color and cut out small object pictures of this color from magazines.
Have child paint this color on her paper.
Then place the color pictures on top of the paint.
Let dry. (I liked doing this activity if I wanted to emphasize a specific color.)
 
SELF-STICK PAPER COLLAGE
These collages are super easy for young children. Even toddlers can do them successfully. You will need self-stick paper, such as Contac paper.
Cut out a frame from heavy paper (approx. 12 x 18).
Remove the backing from the self-stick paper and place the frame on the sticky side of the paper.
Let your child place miscellaneous art materials on the sticky paper inside the frame, such as; puzzle pieces, leaves, poms, ribbons, cotton balls, small pieces of paper or material, etc.
VARIATION: Instead of cutting out frames, just cut out 3 x 18 heavy paper strips and place them on the sticky paper in a square to create an instant frame.
 
GLUE COLLAGE
Set out collage materials and collage background paper.
Have your child brush glue across their paper.
Then, have them place collage materials on the glue.
Let the glue dry.
VARIATION: Some children prefer to use a small glue bottle and individually glue each collage piece in place on their paper.

WATER MOSAIC COLLAGE
You will need different colored 1 tissue squares for this collage.
Give your child a piece of plain colored background paper.
Have him brush water across his paper with a large brush or sponge.
Then, have him create a design on his paper with tissue squares.
Let the collage dry and have your child remove the tissue squares to reveal a dyed mosaic collage.
 
WAXED PAPER COLLAGE
You will need waxed paper, some old wax crayons and small paper shapes for this activity.
Set out a sheet of waxed paper for your child, wax side up.
Have her arrange some small paper shapes on one side of her paper.
Then, help her grate some waxed crayons on top of her paper design.
Next, fold the other half of her paper back on top of her collage.
Finally, lay a cotton cloth on top of the paper and iron across the cloth. The heat should melt the crayon pieces and fuse them to the wax on the paper.
These collages can be cut into shapes, if you wish, and hung on windows to catch the light.

 
COLLAGE MATERIALS AND COLLAGE THEMES
Here are some additional collage materials and collage themes that children enjoy.
NATURE COLLAGE - Use small leaves, flowers and twigs.
BEACH COLLAGE Glue on sand and small shells.
SHAPE COLLAGE - Cut out various sizes of different shapes for your child to use to create a collage.
TEXTURE COLLAGE - Set out small scraps of textured materials, along with cotton balls, felt pieces, sand paper pieces, tinfoil squares, etc.
YARN COLLAGE - Set out 2 pieces of a variety of different types of yarn.
SHINY COLLAGE - Set out small pieces of a variety of shiny papers for your child to use.
MULTI-MEDIA COLLAGE Let your children choose from a large variety of papers and small objects for their collages.