One of the things about making mosaics is that you need definition to the pattern or edge of a picture you are making. This is normally done using the edge of different colour / texture tiles and the line created by grouting which gives mosaic its distinctive flow or ‘andamento‘ (the technical term!).
It is hard for children, especially young ones, to lay tiles with enough accuracy that the line is clear enough. But there are ways of setting up mosaic activites that helps them to do this and begin to learn about line as an element of design.
The easiest way is to mosaic shapes, the edge of the the shape therefore naturally creating the line for them.
Activity Three – Mosaicing Shapes
You can either prepare your own shapes from card / cardboard / dough / salt dough / wood / polymer clay or buy pre made ones.
Use plenty of PVA glue – remember to teach children not to spread to thinly but to make a little ‘glue mountain’ to stick their pieces on.
See the post entitled ‘Materials for making Mosaics with children’ post for ideas of the kind of things you can use as ’tiles’ for sticking.
Allow one side of your shape to dry overnight before mosacing the other side and then hanging. The shinier the objects you use the more they will twinkle as they turn!
In the top picture you can see Isabella’s star shape made with thin card, PVA (white) glue and shells. The second lot of photos is a mosaic craft activity I just did in my children’s little Montessori nursery. Here we used star and moon shapes that I prepared beforehand from a thick cardboard box then painted silver and gold. For sticking we used painted beans, beads (the cheap strings of beads you get at Christmas, cut up) and old shiny packaging cut into squares and triangles. I will be going back to the nursery next week to help the children do the other side and I will post a picture of the finished stars and moons hanging in the sleeping room at the nursery!