Create a Bean Mosaic!

What You Need:

  • Cardboard (a flat square piece is best for this, but posterboard would work as well)
  • Glue
  • Ruler
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper bowl (one you would use at a picnic for example)
  • Black pen
  • Dried beans (a variety, like different colored lentils, etc.) SAFETY NOTE: Raw kidney beans are poisonous if ingested. If you do choose to use kidney beans, make sure your child does not eat them.

What You Do:

  1. Place a square piece of cardboard, about 8x8, on a covered work surface.
  2. Talk to your child about patterns and lines. Maybe even demonstrate on paper how to draw straight lines and shapes such as triangles, diamonds and squares using a ruler (so she can see how lines intersect to form shapes.)
  3. Once she has in mind what kind of design she wants to create for her mosaic, have her use the black pen and ruler to create the lines on the cardboard to make her pattern.
  4. Pour some glue into a paper bowl. Have your child dip the paintbrush into the glue and begin painting it from the center of the cardboard outward. Paint the glue only one section at a time.
  5. Have her place the beans on the glued section however she likes. Encourage her to think about colors and patterns and have her try to place one kind of bean in each section.
  6. Repeat by helping her paint more glue into another section and then have her place some more beans.
  7. It’s a good idea to wait a few minutes in between gluing each section so that the beans have time to dry.
  8. Once all the sections have been filled with glue and beans, the mosaic is complete!

For another twist on this craft, instead of using beans to press into the mosaic, try using crinkled up balls of tissue paper in a variety of colors. Help your child cut the tissue into little 2x2 inch squares and have her crumple each one into a tiny ball. Then allow her to press them into the glued sections following the same process as with the beans and she'll have a beautiful and colorful mosaic of a different kind!

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