Our Simple Shape Collages are the perfect activity to demonstrate that with a few materials and five minutes of prep time you can create an enriching learning opportunity for your children.
WHAT YOU NEED TO CREATE SIMPLE SHAPE COLLAGES
black construction paper
5 different colors of construction paper (I chose green, purple, pink, yellow and red)
paint brushes (if putting glue in containers to brush on)
AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT ENHANCED THROUGH SIMPLE SHAPE COLLAGES
language development (describing artwork, listening to your words, simple dialogue while working)
fine motor development (glueing, picking up shapes and positioning them on the paper)
shape recognition (recognizing circles and rectangles and the different parts of the shapes)
counting (focusing on how many shapes were used)
1 to 1 correspondence (the concept that when counting each shape has one number)
color recognition (recognizing and naming the different colors used)
creativity (how your child uses the shapes to make the collage)
Prior to beginning the activity cut long rectangles using three of the colors and circles using two of the colors. I made my rectangles about 2 inches wide and half a paper long.
TIME TO MAKE SIMPLE SHAPE COLLAGES!
Introduce the Shape Collages to your child by presenting 1 piece of black paper, the rectangle and circles sorted by color, a small amount of glue (I put mine on a yogurt container lid) and a paint brush. How you present the materials to your child is an integral part of the learning experience. Presenting the materials in a simple and organized way gives your child the opportunity to approach the activity with his own vision and learning style.
“Today we are going to make shape collages. We have rectangles (pick up a rectangle) and circles (pick up a circle). You can use the glue to make them stick to the paper.” If gluing is a new experience for your child you can demonstrate how to put a small amount of glue on the paper and stick a shape on. Be careful not to go further and do the project for your child. At this age the process of the art is much more important than the end product. Focus on your child’s actions.
“Luca, look at the way you are using the brush to put glue on your paper. You added a yellow circle and a pink circle. Now you are using your hands to put a green rectangle on your paper.” Through dialogue you are aiding language development, shape recognition and color recognition. Keeping the dialogue focused on your child’s actions gives your child the power to describe her artwork in her own words.
Luca said “Them is legs. These are arms. Them is the eyes.” By keeping my dialogue focused on her actions, Luca was given the opportunity to describe her artwork. If I had said “That looks like a car to me” I would have placed my own vision on the work and not given Luca the chance to explain it herself. I also would have implied that Luca’s artwork needs to look like something. How you speak to your child is just as important as the materials you give them.
During the activity make sure you allow the child to lead the direction. If your child wants to focus on painting the glue on the black paper go with it! Some children may put 2 circles on the paper and declare “I’m done.” This is okay. Honor where your child is in the moment.
Follow your child’s lead. The art project is complete when he says it is. For a 2 year old this may be after 5 minutes. This short amount of time does not mean that the activity was not a success. This means that your child is developmentally exactly where they are supposed to be. Children’s attention spans are short at this young age. Despite the short amount of time your child learned so much during this activity!
Luca was so proud of her work! I love how she is looking at the collage!
Once dry display your child’s artwork. This demonstrates that her work is important and gives her the opportunity to revisit it at a later time. My children love to show visitors their work and describe it (more language development!).
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