Make a 100 Shapes Mural Activity

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Updated on Sep 25, 2012

Celebrate the 100th day of school by creating a math-inspired mural! Count shapes all the way up to 100 for each day of school that has gone by this year. Introduce your child to the work of French artist Henri Matisse to help him find inspiration for his mural.

Creating a mural is a great way to celebrate this special school milestone while also learning about important art and math concepts. Your child will explore geometry, patterns, scale, and symmetry and use creative thinking and problem solving as he immerses himself in the wonderful world of art and mural making. As he cuts out his shapes, he'll practice counting, shape recognition, and develop those fine motor skills, too!

What You Need:

  • Large piece of poster board or cardboard (try reusing the side of a cardboard packing box)
  • Paper in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns
  • Clear-drying non-toxic glue or glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler

What You Do:

  1. Discuss different types of shapes with your child for a good lesson in geometry. Talk about circles, triangles, rectangles, and squares, and what distinguishes each shape from the others. Discuss organic shapes like clouds, flowers, and clovers, too.
  2. Have your child use a pencil (and ruler when needed) to draw the shapes he wants to use onto different pieces of paper, varying the size of each one. Have him number each shape with a pencil as he goes to help him keep track of the count.
  3. Have your child carefully cut out the shapes.
  4. Help your child glue the shapes onto the poster board or cardboard, arranging them and overlapping them artfully as you go.
  5. Set the mural aside to dry completely.
  6. Once dry, have your child count all the shapes in the mural. How many circles does he count? Rectangles? How about red shapes?

Remember, murals can be very large. Try taping a few pieces of poster board together and using large shapes and numbers for a wall-sized work!

Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

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