Chaos Collage

So what do you do when you have the morning off, a clean house and a toddler? Intentionally create a gigantic sticky, seedy mess that spreads throughout your entire house, of course!

Messy play is definitely Ellis' favourite thing.  Be it jumping (and sitting) in every puddle he comes across, pouring water here, there and everywhere, or painting with his entire body, Ellis and mess go hand in hand.  Thats why this activity from First Art: Art Experiences for Toddlers and Twos was such a hit (In the book, its actually called Touch, Pour and Explore, but in our house it results in chaos, hence my retitle).

Anyway, the basic purpose is to let little one explore a whole range of textures and then make a collage out of the materials.  I gave E man a number of bowls filled with bird seed, oatmeal, breadcrumbs, rice, and died beans. You can use other things, such as cotton balls, fabric scaps, yarn, etc, but for some reason E doesn't like the feel of them. Of course as soon as he got his hands on them, they were all mixed together.

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The biggest "trick" with this activity is to just give them a lot of time to play with the materials.  It is not for the faint hearted.  Stuff goes everywhere. 

Since I am quite keen to let E man dictate how something works, I don't interfere much.  I did give him some utensils, like spoons, measuring cups, and old egg cartons to play with and showed him how they might be used. Of course, children have their own ideas about goes well with mess.
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Once there has been plenty of opportunity to play with the materials (ie most of it is strewn around the room), its time to break out the glue.  I have E hold the bottle and squeeze while he runs around his table. For the first time, most of the glue landed on the paper!

Then its all about the throw.  think of it as really big glitter.

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Uh, I did mention this is NOT for the faint hearted, right?

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 We've done one in the past for the birds using smooth peanut butter for the glue and just bird seed and other bird-friendly nuts mounted on cardboard or a small piece of wood.   

Happy Mess-making!

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