The decorative art of mosaic is a fun, hands-on way to bring history to life for children. Whether kids are learning about the Ancient Romans, or the Art of Gaudi in the beautiful Spanish city of Barcelona, teachers can incorporate this easy craft activity into their lessons.
While artists use glass tiles and shards to produce exquisite and durable mosaics, these materials can be expensive and hazardous to use in the classroom. Requiring only simple art and craft supplies, this mosaic project offers parents and teachers a safe and easy way to introduce the craft, and enables children to create their own stunning pieces of art. Simple enough to try at home, the colourful craft activity for kids will also keep them entertained during the holidays.
Materials Needed to Create a Mosaic
- Black card
- Coloured card
- Coloured pencils
- Coloured tissue paper
- PVA adhesive
- Glitter paint
- Coloured inks
Designing the Mosaic
Children draw a design on a large sheet of black card using coloured pencils. Encourage them to keep their designs simple, as intricate patterns are more difficult to mosaic. They then colour the individual areas with the pencils. This creates a rough colour guide for kids to follow when they are ready to add their tiles.
Making Mosaic Colours
Using the colours in their drawing as a guide, children create the coloured sheets that they will cut into tiles. To begin, they select a large piece of coloured tissue and tear it into 1-inch squares. They then apply the tissue to the same colour of A4 card using diluted PVA adhesive, brushing the glue over the tissue as they go to varnish it and stick down any curling edges.
Kids can experiment with effects by mixing up colours, such as lime green tissue on turquoise card, or orange tissue on pink card. Washing coloured inks over the surface will emphasise the textures, while brushing on glitter paints also creates interesting finishes.
Cutting Mosaic Tiles
Glazed by the PVA, inks or glitter paints, the vibrant sheets of colour now have a convincing finish that emulates glass mosaic tiles. Kids use scissors to cut the coloured sheets into 1cm strips, and then snip these into small squares to create the tiles. Using recycled plastic tubs and containers, they separate their colours
Creating the Mosaic
Children use a brush to apply thick, undiluted PVA adhesive to a small area of their design, and then fill it with tiles in the same colour. Combining two colours that are close to each other can create a lively effect. For example, hot pink and red, or turquoise and blue work well together.
Encourage children to leave a small gap between the tiles to create a mosaic effect. Kids can snip tiles with a pair of scissors to help them fit any awkward shapes or small areas. Brushing PVA over tiles and rubbing it in with a finger, helps flatten out any awkward corners that refuse to stick down.
The Finished Mosaic
Creative and fun, this easy craft activity helps kids learn about educational topics, while enabling them to create striking mosaics that add colour to their classroom walls and school corridors. By introducing children to the beautiful and ancient craft of mosaic, who knows, it may even inspire the next budding Gaudi.