By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix
The Children’s Museum of Phoenix begins the year with a group craft project that will become a mosaic wall mural.
Ages: preschool and above.
Materials: cardboard cut into 2 ½” X 2 ½” squares (or any size you like), a variety of papers cut into small pieces (i.e, wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper, construction paper, magazine pictures, recycled foil gum and candy wrappers, etc.), pencils, scissors, glue sticks or white glue and a larger piece of cardboard to glue the mosaic squares onto.
This is a group project. Each person decorates a square of paper, which is put together to create a mosaic on a larger piece of cardboard.
Introduce your children to the art form – “mosaics.”
Have them choose a small square of cardboard. They draw and cut out shapes or pictures from the variety of papers and glue them onto their cardboard squares.
They can create pictures or just interesting shapes.
As they work, tell them about the history of mosaics.
When finished, have everyone glue their squares together on the larger piece of cardboard and display it.
At the beginning of each year in the Art Studio, we create a wall mural as a group project. This is a great way to encourage children to share their projects with other children as they work together. By creating a mosaic, the children are also introduced to an ancient form of art.
A mosaic is created by using small tiles or stones to create a design or picture. The earliest mosaics date back 4,000 years ago. They were favored by the ancient Greek and Roman people, who covered walls and even the bottoms of swimming pools with these colorful designs.
To create mosaics, tiles are glued onto a wall, floor, ceiling or board. Space is left between the tiles. When the design is finished grout is filled in the spaces. The finished art pieces are very durable, which is why we have many ancient mosaics to appreciate.
ABOUT THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF PHOENIX
The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.