This winter has seemed like a total time warp for some reason. And I just realized that I haven't done much from my book, Banish Boredom: Activities to Do with Kids That You'll Actually Enjoy, lately! One of my most favorite projects in the book is multimedia collage on cardboard. Collage is such an awesome open-ended art project for kids of all ages, so it's one of my go-to projects. I actually did this version at one of our book events last summer at Little Loft. In case you missed out on any of our maker workshops last summer, I've got one coming up April 9th at DC's Tenley-Friendship Library -- mark your calendars!
But, back to the project. I love to work in recyclable materials where possible and I always have plenty of cardboard boxes to reuse as the base for this art project. Here's the complete project material list:
- thick cardboard cut into medium-sized rectangular pieces (about 6" X 9")
- good quality watercolors
- a variety of collage materials—use whatever you have that you think might interest kiddos. I like to include tactile, manipulative supplies, such as textured foil paper or pipe cleaners. For this round, I used a variety of brightly colored cut-up plastic straws, rainbow washi tape, pom poms, pony beads, and cut-up metallic straws.
- children's scissors strong enough to cut the collage materials (or you can cut up ahead of time)
- a small container of glue and a paintbrush
First, have the kids use the collage materials to create a frame around the edge of their cardboard piece. Everything looks nicer in a frame! Then, let them paint a background using watercolors. Once that is dry (the cardboard actually dries very quickly), have them make a collage on top.
Kane was in a serious Star Wars mood the morning we made these, so he spent his time making various constellations and starry scenes using beads and poms. Cam started out doing the same, but then moved on to experimenting with different frames and creating her name. You never know what they're going to come up with!