I love doing collages with children!  They are always so excited to exercise their independence and decide just exactly what goes where.  It’s a great exercise in creativity and small motor skills.  I’m sure you all have your favorite ways to do collages.  Well, here’s another approach to those fantastic creations!

Often, I see young children piling objects onto their papers without applying glue.  They’re so involved in the sticking process, they forget the sticking agent!  It’s loads of fun until they pick up their papers and watch their work fall down to the art tray.  Well, one fun way to do collages, and to avoid the missing glue problem, is to use Contact Paper!

Tape the paper down with the paper backing facing up.  Once it’s set, peel off the paper to reveal a perfectly sticky surface.  Children can stick and place to their little heart’s content.  (And no, I didn’t use sour cream – those are the containers I use to store such beautiful randomness like beans, seeds, pieces of colored tissue paper, feathers, flowers from a broken lei, and whatever other beautiful junk might go perfectly on a collage!)

Now once the child has had enough of the decorating, you have two different ways to “finish” it.  On the left, the green construction paper was placed on the sticky side and sealed down, creating a fully contained collage.  This way works best if you leave a frame of un-collaged (I think they should add that word to the dictionary) space.  Perhaps carefully cut the paper backing off with a razor blade, leaving strips around the edges; peel the paper off, cut the frame, and re-apply;or draw a frame on the top side of the paper (smooth side) with permanent marker, and let the children know to keep that area free from decoration.  Having that border will help it to stick down and seal.  

I didn’t draw such a border, so a few of the collages just got too big to stick.  There was no sticky area left unoccupied!  So with these, I taped them down to the construction paper for stability and color, but left them sticky side up.  (So the tape is between the construction paper and the smooth side of the Contact Paper.)  These left the collages in better condition and makes it easier to use scrap pieces of Contact Paper without having to custom cut your construction paper.  (Speaking of scraps, most of mine come from covering my paperback children’s books with Contact Paper.  It protects the covers and makes them stronger.)

This method for collages is great when working with very young children who may have trouble gluing independently, tight time crunches that don’t allow for drying time, or just for trying something different!  Enjoy!

You may also enjoy The Spectrum of Preschool Arts and Crafts.



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