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Saturday, 22 July 2017

School Holiday Project: Making A Collage With Found Garden Objects

The kids had so much fun with today's project that all of their collages ended up overly crowded, but they simply did not want to stop. It is a very good developmental exercise on top of being great fun and there are plenty of learning opportunities hidden in the project. We 'paint' houses with sand before collecting found objects from the garden to build gardens on a much smaller scale surrounding the houses. I'll point out the learning and developmental opportunities as I discuss the steps for today's project. Bonus, is that this is a very cheap art project that can be entirely done with discards and found objects.


It is important to work on a very sturdy background. I cut up a box that holds 6 milk cartons and used the three largest panels of this box.


The first learning curve is when we teach the kids to rule lines using a ruler. The very young ones will not have been introduced to this drawing instrument yet and it is a good starting point. Introduction to technical drawing?


For the smaller ones, I marked off dots on the sides of the house and told them to draw lines connecting the dots to start the brickwork pattern. Introducing the brickwork pattern is another learning opportunity. Our 5 year old girl had not worked with a ruler before and I took time showing her what to do.


When drawing the vertical lines, the kids are taught to draw a line, skip a line, and draw another line in the next space - another great developmental skill.


The 7 year old boy loves watching his 18 year old nephew doing proper technical drawings and has long since started mimicking what he does with a ruler.


Our 11 year old girl is also familiar with a ruler and opted to work with much smaller spaces. This is fine, as she is up to the challenge.


We glued the segments for the 'bricks' making sure not to go near the lines. Spilling glue into the lines will obscure the brickwork pattern.


I collected this red sand on a trip to Hondeklipbaai in the Northern cape. However, you can use any river sand or building sand for the project.


Sprinkle the sand over the wet glue and then shake the excess sand off. Note how the brickwork pattern now really comes to the fore.


I gave each child a brush and a choice of colours to paint their roofs with. However, if you do not have an art budget, you can also make the roofs with twigs, grass, or even sand. Accurate painting is yet another developmental exercise, as is gluing twigs or grasses to the roof! This is the 5 year old's.


The 6 year old's house.


The 11 year old surprised me with her muted colour palette, but she obviously had a plan in mind and I did not pressure her.


I made a quick turn in the winter garden and returned with these leaves. I laid them in place to give the kids an idea of what we needed to do. They needed no further encouragement but went to the garden with a vengeance. Of course they brought back much more than they would ever need!


Only once they had returned, did I pull out the box of shells that also hail from Hondeklipbaai and gave them permission to use these as well.


I also had a collection of pretty stones and other odds and ends which they could use.


At this stage I stepped back and left them to it. I only intervened to assist with gluing tricky objects into place. This level of concentration is what you are looking for. The child is 100% involved in the project. What makes it absolutely wonderful, is that the child is forced to use his/her imagination and transform an everyday object into something else. They also inadvertently play with scale, even though the concept is beyond their grasp at this age.


Another intrigued artist at work.


Even the much older artist was as involved as the two younger ones


The 6 year old boy's finished collage.


The 5 year old's finished collage.


The 11 year old's finished collage.


Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
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