As the new school year begins many parents are left wondering what to do with last year's discarded school supplies. Rulers, pencils, crayons, and half worn notebooks are all too often thrown away as the back to school shopping rush begins. Instead of tossing those old supplies, try turning them into a creative work of art! Mixed media constructions involve using two or more different types of materials in one artwork. This collage activity will encourage your child to reuse his old school supplies as the multiple types of media. Add paint or pastels for an extra special touch.
This reused school supply mixed media collage will help your young student to increase environmental awareness, develop new vocabulary skills (i.e., mixed media, collage), explore the artistic process, and experiment with color.
What You Do:
- Have your child gather together last year’s schools supplies. Old homework sheets that have been cut or torn may be used also.
- Ask your child to arrange the supplies on the cardboard. Encourage him to move the objects to point in different directions and overlap materials.
- Glue the objects to the cardboard.
- Give your child paints in the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) and white. Encourage him to create his own palette of colors by mixing the paint.
- Your child can now apply the paint to parts of the collage. He need not cover the entire space with color.
- Optional: Add extra color with oil pastels or chalk.
Bring the old school year into the new with this reused materials collage. As the new school year begins remind your child that next year at this time he can create another collage with this year’s supplies!
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.