A mosaic is an art form that includes small pieces of a material (commonly stone, glass, or tile) that are glued or cemented onto a flat surface. Give this technique a spring-inspired twist by helping your child design a seasonal pattern using all natural materials—leaves, grass, flowers, and more!
This magical spring mosaic helps him understand some important elements of art, such as shape and counting. You can add some science by talking about plant life as you work, identifying plant species, or talking about the growing cycle.
What You Do:
- Help your child cut the cardboard into a geometric shape (like a circle, triangle, square, or rectangle). You may need to do most of the cutting, given that cardboard is thick and sometimes difficult to work with. In this case, have him draw an outline of his desired shape with a pencil.
- Ask your child to draw a “nature” scene or object onto the cardboard with a pencil. This can range from a landscape with trees and a pond, to a simple sunflower. Try to avoid a scene with too much detail. Think loose, general shapes and objects.
- Invite him to cover the large geometric or organic shape with glue. (Try watering down the glue and using a paint brush to spread it.) Then place the natural objects (leaves, flower petals, twigs, etc.) onto the glue, mosaic style. Simply have him line up the objects next to each other to form areas of the picture. Discuss the shapes and patterns that he sees as he goes along.
- Set the nature mosaic aside to dry.
It may be helpful to add a second layer of glue (watering it down first, and then spreading it with a large paint brush). Another option is to add tempera paint on top of the individual pieces to create a bold and vibrant effect!
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.