Early literacy skills built in the preschool years are crucial for later academic development in the elementary grades. This paper word quilt collage activity emphasizes letter recognition, oral language skills, and visual processing abilities.
Art and literacy often go hand in hand in creating an early basis for analyzing symbolic representations of pictures and letters. This activity will encourage your young child to illustrate imaginative images and write simple labeling words. Additionally, pattern, shape, color, and artistic processes will be explored.
What You Do:
- Pick a theme for the paper quilt collage. It should be something of interest that is meaningful in your child’s life. For example, if your daughter loves dinosaurs, create a dinosaur quilt collage.
- Cut the construction paper into squares. The size will depend on how small or large the backing cardboard is. Make sure that each square is large enough to accommodate one drawing or word.
- Divide the squares in half. Half will be for illustrations; the others will be for words.
- Ask your child to draw pictures based on the chosen theme onto the illustration squares. Crayons or markers can be used.
- Brainstorm a list of words that accompany the illustrations. You might even want to introduce a few new words. Help your child spell the words. Point out each individual letter, and ask your child to name it. If your child is not yet ready to write these words independently, assist her by writing them first with a pencil. After you have written the words, encourage your child to trace each word with a marker. Make sure to say each word aloud as your child traces or writes it.
- Have your child glue the illustrations and words onto the cardboard in a unique pattern.
This word quilt collage activity is a simple way to introduce basic art and early literacy concepts to your young child.
Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pinttsburgh'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.