Life in Community

Collage Art with Children

March 15, 2021 by


Inspired by pictures in an Eric Carle book we recently enjoyed (the author who is best known for The Very Hungry Caterpillar), my granddaughters – age eight, and twins who are four years old – and I decided to make our own collage.

Donning our aprons we first painted sheets of paper with big brushes and tempera paints. Not having a wide selection of colors, we mixed them. No brown? We tried yellow and red and black, and yellow and red and blue. To create textures – bark and animal fur, ice and leaves – we scratched the wet paint. For the birch trees we covered the paper with brown paint, letting it dry, almost, squirted white on top, smoothed it out and scratched through with a plastic knife. It looked like the real thing! That was the first session – colored papers. It was messy and joyful and not too much work to clean up.

Session two, a week later: we snipped and tore and glued. We covered a large old calendar page with sky and mountains, lakes, and hemlock trees. And there had to be a sun of course. It’s kind of a picture of where we live.

Session three, a week after that: twigs and branches, beech leaves that never fell off in the winter storms. Birches. And animals! Our four-year-old was so pleased with her big black bear, her rabbit, and her purple finch. And our other four-year-old was delighted that her cardinal bird was actually opening it’s beak to talk to the bear! And there’s even a lovely little three-legged fox, and lots of fish. Our eight-year-old made a beaver and some very bird-like birds. It was a frigid day, too cold for playing outside. The living room table got covered with Elmers glue, which wasn’t too hard to wipe off. We stayed warm and happy indoors for a good long time. We hung the picture triumphantly on Dad and Mum’s wall. We all admired it, washed our sticky hands, ate a good hot supper, cleaned up, played some games, sang a few songs, and went to bed. So ended a third satisfying Sunday.


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Pauline Harrison

Pauline Harrison

Pauline Harrison lives with her husband Mark at Platte Clove.

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