Creating paper mosaics with your kids is an opportunity to introduce them to an art form that has been around for centuries. It also can help reinforce fine motor skills and color identification for preschoolers learning their colors, as well as number and color patterns for older children. Encourage the kids to get creative and make their own designs during this engaging and educational activity.
Introduce your children to mosaic art. Show your kids pictures of real stone, glass and tile mosaic works of art, pointing out the geometric patterns and shapes. Have your kids point out color and number patterns they see in the mosaics.
Have the kids cut colorful construction paper into 1/4-inch squares using child-safe scissors. To make it easy for kids, draw 1/4-inch square grids on the construction paper and have the kids follow the lines to cut the paper into strips and the strips into squares. For younger children not quite ready for scissors, it's OK to let them tear up the paper into tiny pieces. Place the colored squares into paper bowls separated by color.
Give the kids pencils and a blank sheet of construction paper to draw a design. Encourage the kids to choose simple designs that will make adding the mosaic squares to the paper. They can draw things like the sun, a flower or a simple house.
Have the kids fill in their designs with the paper mosaic squares. Give the kids school glue or paste to glue the squares to their designs. Allow the kids to paste the squares wherever they want on their designs, but encourage older children to create color and number patterns. For example, a butterfly design might have a row of five blue squares in a wing, then three yellow squares, followed by another set of five blue and three yellow squares.
Reinforce color identification. For younger children still learning their colors, point out the colored squares in the bowls and encourage them to say the name each time they use a different color. You could also write the name of a color using the corresponding color crayon in the different section of each child's drawing. Have the kids name the color and paste squares only of that color in that section.
Introduce other paper materials ideal for making mosaics. The kids can use colorful tissue paper to make a window mosaic. Instead of construction paper, have the kids glue the tissue paper squares onto clear contact paper. Cover it with another sheet of contact paper and hang it in the window to catch the light. Give older kids magazines to cut up pictures of things they like. They can use the magazine squares to create mosaic designs that reflect their personalities.
Have the kids dip a fingertip in the glue and press onto the tiny squares, which makes gluing them onto the design easier.