I thought I’d tell you about one of the most fun activities for children – collages!

I have included my tips below, accumulated over the course of my career, for how to set up a collage cart and the educational benefits of this activity.

How to Set Up a Collage Activity and the Benefits of Collage:

To start up a collage cart, you will need a variety of natural and recycled materials with various shapes/sizes and textures. They should include items collected from your outside environment as well. I suggest involving parents and/or the local community in the collection of items. For example: different shaped and colored leaves, acorns, flowers, tree bark, various sized boxes, wrapping paper, ribbons, yarn and greeting cards.

So why is it good?

Collage is very hands-on and involves all the senses. Collage can be created anywhere, inside or outside – for example, we did a great big collage on sustainability, using recycled items brought in by families and collected outside by children (each child had a container). We put them on tables everywhere (this was a group experience, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t set it up as a single/pairs/small group experience).

We offered the children lots of different types of tape to stick their creations together on the first day. The children were cooperating, passing things among themselves, talking about what they were doing.

On the second day, they were able to go back and add paint, etc. to finish off their masterpieces. Hot tip: be careful where you put their name, so they don’t get covered up in the process!

The whole class attended to this activity for a good 40 minutes; it just went on and on!

A few other tips:

– Have another experience ready that they can go to when they’re finished, while the others can continue.
– You need to use good quality glue that will stick!
– Use this activity to teach techniques in gluing / wiping the brush – to avoid trailing the glue right across the table.

The most important thing is encouraging the child to be creative, have fun and giving the child time to work at their own pace. Remember it is the child’s work so they are using their own ideas to create. It is all about the learning and the process, rather than the finished product’s appearance. Discuss and ask questions about the process rather than “what is it?” I hope your children love this tip.  What child doesn’t like making a collage?!