Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cutting to Collage

Welcome to the June Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival, 'Kids and Learning.'

The Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival hosted by Science@home is for anyone, because we are all teachers and learners all the time. This month our theme is "Art" which doesn't just mean doing craft - it includes music, performance art and appreciation as well! Our bloggers have come up with many different thought-provoking takes on this theme. Please read through to the end to find links to the other participating blogs.

With the cold winter weather now well and truly here, arts and crafts are perfect to help fill in days where you might not be able to get outside to play much. The favourite in our house at the moment by far is cutting with scissors. My two will literally spend hours happily cutting up old magazines and junk mail and putting all their clippings into a container. And its just brilliant for keeping them occupied while I am putting on dinner!
I also love this activity because using scissors and practicing cutting like this is, for pre-schoolers, one of the best things your child can do to build up hand and finger strength and dexterity, which in turn benefits their pencil holding skills and hence how well they learn to write. Which for this age group is really one of the priorities of learning. If a child is not doing things to build up hand strength he will have trouble with writing skills.

There is a huge range of age appropriate scissors available these days. A while ago I bought the boys a pair of scissors each (different colours of course!) suited to their ages - as you can imagine they just love having their own scissors each! I keep them well out of reach when not in use, and make sure this is a well supervised activity when I know I won't be disturbed or called away. Its also a good idea to reiterate rules for scissor use each time - no pointing them at each other, do not get down from the table with them, hold them correctly, etc.

So, yesterday I thought I would let the boys loose with their scissors and a big pile of junk mail and those free magazines, followed by collage with the clippings, little bits of cut up fabric scraps of different colours and textures, & other crafty bits and pieces. You could also adapt this activity into something fun like making dress up crowns or similar like my previous post Making Easter Hats on a Budget.

We had an absolute ball filling in the morning with this activity, and the boys had some fantastic collages to show their dad when he arrived home from work!!

Visit Science@home to find out more about the Teach/Learn Blogging Carnival.
Please take the time to visit the other participants and check out their posts on “Art.”
  • CatWay at Adventures With Kids is getting the most out of a trip to the art gallery with ideas of how to prepare children and interest them while they are there.
  • Mamapoekie from Authentic Parenting argues for the importance of art and why we should be encouraging it as our children get older.
  • Miss Carly from Early Childhood Resources talks about how to create an environment that encourages young children to explore art.
  • Sharon at Hear Mum Roar has done a fantastic video post by getting her children to do an activity two different ways and letting you see the very different results.
  • Amanda at HomeAge has been admiring art with her daughter since she was a baby, taking her to several art exhibitions and reading books.
  • Kate from Picklebums talks about why art is important for little people and has a huge list of activities you can try.
  • The Planning Queen from Planning With Kids has tips for visiting the art gallery with kids, including links to different galleries and some ideas for activities afterwards.
  • Colin Wee at Super Parents is thinking about his son’s musicality as he learns to play the violin.
  • Deb from Science@home has her children investigating materials while making sculptures and bravely let the 2 year old use a hot glue gun.
  • Leechbabe from Stuff with Thing started out looking at patterns in nature, but the activity changed because she followed her children’s lead.
  • Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey has used an indoor activity, giving her children magazines to cut out and create collages.
  • Lisa at SMMART Ideas has a sidewalk chalk festival in her own driveway!
Thanks for visiting, we hope you enjoy some of the posts in our carnival.


Babyjo Bamboo said...

Ohh - we love doing this too! It is great for helping with loads of learning - I often set a bit of a challenge for my little one (just over 3 yrs) and get her to sort through catalogues or magazines for a "theme" - eg, it may be to look for all the fruits and vegetables that she loves, and to combine them like a shopping list of sorts, or find all of her favourite handbag colours etc (just depends what we have on hand to cut up!) - Great for fine tuning concentration and motor skills too - Some days she is not really "into it" but most times, it is a sure winner! Thanks for reminding me what a joy this type of activity can be!

Hear Mum Roar said...

I agree, it is a really important skill for kids this age to learn. Even glueing is a process that can take kids time to learn at first.

CatWay said...

I remember that stage when my son was so absorbed in cutting and wanted to do it all the time. We haven't done collages for a long time.

miss carly said...

Just on a side note: I love that you are cutting with your children! Having just been in a Kindy class in early March and having 5 out of 20 children being capable with scissors this is a lovely post!

Great post!

homeage said...

I have bought a few scissors for Princess, those that are all plastic, and have just found that they tear the pages and don't really work. What kind of scissors do you buy?

I know given the write tools she would love this activity, and I have lots of decorative scissors being a scrapbooker (and collector of papercraft tools!), but just worry about her using the sharper tools.

katef said...

Even my almost 7 year olds will still spend hours and hours cutting and snipping then sticking and sticking.
A decent pair of scissors, a container to catch the scraps and a pile of junk mail makes for a happy afternoon in our house!

PlanningQueen said...

Such a great activity Monique and one that my kids will do for hours! Reminds me to start saving the catalogues for our upcoming school holidays - thanks!

Colin Wee said...

My kids love putting together different body parts and drawing around these new mannequins. They were inspired to do this through an art animation course they took a year or so ago - using various angles of their faces and expressions, with different bodies (like a squid for Wills and UFO for Beth), and moving them along bit by bit, taking photos with each movement. :-) Colin

SMMART ideas said...

Collages are a fun activity when a birthday is coming up. It sure is motivating to give the girls the ads and let them cut out and create their birthday wish list! Thanks!

leechbabe said...

That sounds like an absolutely fabulous wet weather school holiday activity. Thank you for the inspiration :)

deb-science-home said...

My big girl is in preschool and they do a huge amount of cutting, especially wavy lines and things that need control. The little one is trying to cut now, but I need to find the little scissors for her - they've disappeared under all the 'craft equipment' ;)

I love the idea of using themes or making people, I can see we'll be doing that soon.