Collage Ideas: A method for inspiring art through collage for kindergarten, preschool and elementary age children

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collage ideas Collage ideas are all over the place. Collage is one of the most versatile art activities you can do with kids and is one of my favorite . Collage for kids and collage for adults is not usually the same. Adults collages are usually more of an abstract activity using objects, photographs and other personal items. With kids its usually a pasting activity using the left over material from other projects . I have a particular method that I love to use with collage.

I have many other great posts on collage and I recently put together a great compilation where you can get 24 of the some of the best collages. In this post however, I am going to be talking about a method of collage that I use. It’s a method that is good  for all levels and can be done with older children and even adults.

collage ideas

collage ideas

I call these collage ideas “art collages” and they can be done with almost any topic, scene or holiday. When you use collage as  just a collections of  papers of snippets of other  papers from left over paper projects then you are losing out on a tremendous creative and problem solving art activity. Collage is not supposed to be a haphazard activity. It is supposed to be a process where children are presented with various materials and their job is to think about how to use them in the best possible way.

This is for simple collages like simple shape collages and it is for more sophisticated art collages. Collage ideas for preschoolers may not be very different than collage ideas for older children BUT, the results will be drastically different. Not only the ideas will be different but, the manner in which they make their collages will be different. It is indeed the way a child makes a collage that will often tell us educators how that child is doing  developmentally. I would not start these art collages for the very young.

For young children who are just getting used to glue or paste, collage project ideas will be based on basic shapes like in this geometric shape collage post, getting them used to the process and varying the different, simple collages to give them more challenges. Once children have had lots of experience with basic collage, then they can be introduced to art collages.

So what are art collages?

Art collages are collages that help children get inspiration from real pictures. Very often there is confusion in the creative art world of children. There are some process only advocates who believe that children should never be given any direction at all. They believe in pure process only.  I learned however, in later years that sometimes children need some direction. Once they have direction along with plenty of choice and understanding of what they are capable of, then it is an extremely creative activity for children. Method for creating art collages:

  1. Think of the topic or theme you want the children to create art around
  2. Find pictures of this theme. (city landscapes, fall scenes,vehicles, houses etc)
  3. Look through books, old calendars or sites like  Pinterest (which is the easiest especially if you have a color printer)
  4. Show the children the pictures
  5. Tell the children WHAT they are going to make. Be it a vehicle, a city landscape or whatever else you choose.
  6. Make it clear that these images are for ideas only and they can pick and choose from any of the pictures what they want
  7. Then give materials that SUGGEST the idea you want them to create. If it’s a winter picture   give white circles and other suggestive white materials. If its vehicles, maybe circles for wheels, triangles for  sailboats etc.
  8. Tell them that they can create a picture in any way they like.

In the image below the children were exposed to a number of city landscape images. (The topic for this collage was obviously city landscapes). If you have a color printer( as I said before) all the better as there were some beautiful color schemes in some of these pictures that could not come out in black and white.

collage ideas

For my collages with children I often try to imagine in my mind what are some of the ideas they could use to make their collages and then give them pieces accordingly. Sometimes they use the pieces as I envisioned and  more often times often not. Sometimes you can cut up the actual shapes they will use, while other times just give them large sheets of paper and materials and have them cut them themselves.

There is a blogger at a blog called Deep space Sparkle that did a similar activity with landscape collages that you can check out.

 Two  of the images above were of city landscapes and one was of a fall scene. Of the ones below one was a flower collage and the other a winter collage.

collage ideascollage ideas

The results of how these art collages come out will TOTALLY depend on how old the children are. The younger childrens work will look like real messes but, you just need to have the patience for them to grow and develop. Sometimes just by having the objects like white circles, the messy collage will look like something even if the child was too young to really create. I don’t know about you, but my heart swells when I see the amazing pieces that come out of using these collage ideas with children and preschoolers. Collage is truly and expansive and creative art medium for children.

Other Kids Collage Ideas

Aside from the link I gave you above for the collage ideas, you can also find  torn paper collages  at torn paper art where I discuss another favorite collage, torn paper collages. Keep searching through my collage category if you really love collage as you will find lots of great ones. If you like this post…please share it 🙂 also check out the recent video I have on youtube on this exact topic.

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