Making a collage is easy, fun and a great way for little ones to practice their fine motor skills. Once assembled, they can see their work and touch it too experiencing all the different textures and materials. Collage is actually one of the areas of artistic experience that children should be exposed to within the EYFS, along with painting, drawing, printing, textiles and 3D.
So, how to go about having some collage fun:
- Find your materials: go out into the park for leaves, to the shop for paper, look in the recycle bins for other materials. You could make the looking an activity in itself by talking about how each item feels, how heavy it is, whether it will stick onto paper and what colour it is.
- Then you can start sticking and gluing!
- Make sure the paper you use is heavy enough to hold the collage. You don't want it ripping.
- Make sure you have plenty of strong but non toxic glue so bits don't fall off!
- Make sure you have plenty of space to really get stuck in!
- Make sure everything is covered i.e. clothing and table tops to ensure no gluey accidents.
- Don't tell the children what to do necessarily; let them experiment!
- Cotton wool, wool, string.
- Leaves, grasses, flowers.
- Tissue paper, wrapping paper, newspaper and magazine pictures.
- Glitter, sequins, beads.
Other associated activities:
- Foraging for the materials can be fun. Talk about looking high and low, up and down, round the corner etc. Use lots of different words to describe where you are looking and what you are looking for.
- Close work: look at the materials you find closely. Are they rough or smooth, are they prickly or bumpy? Again, describe the items and talk about them.
- Sorting: sort them into little piles and then put them in pots. Label them for next time. All the buttons together, all the cotton wool together etc.
- Look at the letters that each material begins with: p for paper, and g for glue etc.
Christmas is approaching at 100 miles an hour and will be with us in no time at all so make sure your craft cupboard has all the ingredients for festive Christmas craft to do with your toddlers! There are loads of decorations that you can make for Christmas so make sure you are stocked up with crayons, glue, scissors, glitter, card, coloured paper, cotton wool, googly eyes and anything else that makes for festive decoration.
Here are just a few ideas of things to make:-
- Christmas Cards: make lovely glittery Christmas cards for friends and family, for younger children, draw pictures for them to colour themselves. Older children can draw their own pictures with Santa, Christmas trees, reindeer, baubles, candles etc. Use glitter or cotton wool to make sparkly or fluffy snow.
- Paper Chains: Craft shops will sell strips of brightly coloured paper with adhesive at one end. Lick this and stick it into a loop and create a chain to decorate your house. If you can't find paper chain strips, just cut strips of any coloured paper and stick them with glue or tape.
- Glittery Holly: cut small holly sprigs and dry them inside overnight. Apply glue to each leaf and sprinkle glitter on. Make sure you do this over a sheet of paper so that you collect all the surplus and pour it back into the tube. Try to beat the birds to holly sprigs with berries on!
- Snow Scene in a Jar: Find a jar with a screw lid and buy a small plastic toy that can fit inside the jar. Ideally look for a Christmas themed toy, you'll find a Christmas cake decoration in most supermarkets at this time of year. Glue the toy to the lid and glue some extra stones on too. Use either an all purpose adhesive or a glue gun - this is definitely a job for grown ups! When dry, fill the jar with water and add some glitter, put the lid on and screw it tightly and you have a snow scene. Instead of a plastic toy, why not have your little ones mould something from plasticine instead? Penguins and snowmen are fairly easy for little ones to make.
- Countdown Calendar: Although Christmas will arrive quickly, it will seem ages away to your little ones. Help them see how far away Christmas is by making a countdown or advent calendar. Give them a surprise each day, whether it be a Christmas picture, chocolate or some other treat, and they will be able to see how many more sleeps until the big day! Use the exercise to practice counting, count how many days left until Christmas each day.
- Tree Decorations: Make decorations from the Christmas tree - be creative and use different materials: pine cones, paper or card, plasticine, clay, pipe cleaners etc.
These are just a few ideas for Christmas fun craft. The most important thing is to ensure that your craft cupboard is well stocked in the run up to Christmas so that you can entertain the children with craft ideas whenever you wish to!
Now summer is here, ice lollies pops are a great way to keep cool, but how about saving all the sticks and making some great crafts with them? Simply wash them well after use and store them together until you lots to play with. If you can't wait that long, you can also buy them from craft shops! Here are few ideas to get crafty with the little ones...
Pen holder: (You'll need lolly pop sticks, glue and cardboard tube)
- Cut the tube so that it's just shorter than your sticks .
- Cover the tube with glue.
- Stick all the lolly pop stick onto the outside of the tube and allow to dry.
- Decorate with paint or stickers.
Fairy Wand for a Doll: (You'll need lolly pop stick, card and silver glitter)
- Cut the card into a star shape, decorate the sticks and star with glitter.
- Allow to dry then attach the star to the end of the stick. Magic!
Flower Garden: (You'll need green card, paint, egg carton, glue, play dough)
- Paint the sticks green and attach leaves cut out from the green card.
- Cut out cups from the egg carton and snip round the sides to make petal shapes: cut round or pointy shapes.
- Decorate with paint to make into flowers.
- Glue onto the sticks and display by sticking into a lump of play dough.
Puzzle: (You'll need 6 sticks, sticky tape and paint/pens)
- Place the sticks next to each other and tape together.
- Draw on a picture and colour it in.
- Remove the tape.
- Mix up the pieces and then recreate the puzzle!
Games: (You'll need 15 sticks and 5 different coloured paints).
- Paint 5 sticks red, 4 sticks green, 3 sticks blue, 2 sticks yellow and 1 stick purple.
- Mix them up and use them to practice counting, sorting, colours, make shapes, adding etc.
Have you noticed that branded toys always come at a premium, for example a non-branded colouring book is just that little bit cheaper than one with all your little one's favorite TV characters? Well, todays tip is all about creating that branded craft for less...almost for free in fact!
When you're next out shopping, look for the free brochures and catalogues that stores put out. Go into travel shops and pick up brochures for Disney vacations and any other themed holidays they might have. You now have a terrific source of images to work with, many of which will include pictures of merchandise with your baby's favourite TV characters on!
Cut out a selection of pictures, and now you're ready to create! Here are just a few ideas for what you can make:-
- Create a collage with all your favorite characters going about their business
- Mount characters onto cardboard, cut around them and stick them onto straws, you now have fun puppets to put on a show with!
- Make a birthday card for the next member of the family or a friend with a birthday coming up
- Have older children copy pictures of their favourite characters and create their own original artwork
- Take a shoe box or similar, stick characters all over and when they are dry, apply a layer of varnish - this makes a perfect stationary box for all their pens
- Make a paper chain with looks of plain paper, then stick a character to each link to create a themed room decoration
- Punch a hole at the top of several cardboard mounted characters and thread them onto string - this could make a room decoration, or for older children, create a pendant
You'll think of so many ways to bring your characters alive whilst avoiding the premium price associated with most branded goods!
The more you learn about the ways that children grow and develop, the more you will see in your own children. After birth, babies develop from the head downwards - first their head grows stronger, then their body, their arms and lastly their legs. Their larger muscles develop first (and therefore gross motor skills, or what we equate as Moving Activities) and then their smaller muscles (tuning their fine motor skills which are our Making Activities). As a member of ToucanLearn, our custom activity path will introduce activities to stimulate physical development from birth through to five years whilst at the same time, ensuring that you and your babies have fun! Two can learn much better than one!
Making, Moving, Learning and Speaking 20th May, 2009 All of the activities in ToucanLearn are categorised by a key skill, these are shown as Making, Moving, Learning and Speaking. These map to long established development skills, namely gross motor skills, fine motor skills, cognitive skills and communication skills. Although as a member of ToucanLearn you will have access to a broad range of activities, you can concentrate on nurturing specific skills by selecting relevant activities accordingly.
Click on Learning above to find out more detail about these development skills.