This week, inspired by our ARTistic Pursuits curriculum, we did a kind of project we had never done before. Our lesson was on how artists see shapes. We had a shape exercise, some shape art appreciation, and finally, our project was to make an art creation out of shapes. Specifically, we were to cut up construction paper into shapes to make shape collages and then draw on the details. My children had already done a little shape work when we made our circle collages a few weeks ago, so I was excited to see what they would come up with for their finished pieces.
Although I highly encourage you to consider buying the ARTistic Pursuits curriculum if you’re wanting to teach your child comprehensively about art (Not an affiliate. I just really love ARTistic Pursuits.), if you wanted to experiment with your own shape collages, all you need is construction paper, glue sticks and pencils, crayons or markers.
Even after I showed my children the examples in the book of the collages and how to make them, they were initially skeptical. Firecracker thought it sounded kind of lame. Rose thought it sounded too hard. Monkey just wanted me to let him keep playing legos. Owlet was the only one ready to plunge into creation mode.
So, I gave them a few minutes to think, and then I set out different colors of construction paper in front of them to tempt them into creation. There were smiles and laughter as the children began to cut out paper and glue it together. They began to tell stories about their creations.
Owlet took strips of paper and glued them down in a way I thought was pretty random. She alternately called it her “sun” and her “snowflake,” and she was pretty pleased with the whole process.
Monkey was much more deliberate. He created large block collages that were “The Thing” (left) and “Hulk” (right). He understood about the different colors, but he didn’t have the shapes exactly right. They were a really cute (to this mom) take on the collage project.
Rose, as always, was the last person to finish her creation. She did a great job making a cat out in the sun. I especially love the partial tree she decided to put to the right of the collage. It took her several scraps of construction paper to get the tree shape she wanted.
Finally, Firecracker made a collage that was mostly a study in brown. First he made the brown ground. Then he put a table and chairs on it. The made two friends to sit at the chairs. He ended up telling me that this project was actually a lot of fun.
And so, those are our new paper collages. The children had a lot of fun making them, and I felt like it really did enhance their ability to break their designs down into shapes.