Activity Plan 2-3: Create an All-Weather Mural
Use contact paper to make waterproof art!
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Arts
- 1 sheet of clear contact paper (about five feet long)
- another five-foot sheet of contact paper, cut into one-foot-long sections
- tissue paper
- colored cellophane paper
- shiny gift-wrapping paper
- colored pipe cleaners
- children's scissors
- a hole punch
- yarn or twine
- masking tape
- pinking shears (optional)
Objective: Children will work cooperatively to make a group mural they can exhibit and enjoy outdoors.
1. Gather children together and explain that a mural is a very large picture - one they will all be able to work on together. Plus, this mural will be extra special because it can hang outdoors!
2. Clear enough work space to spread out the large sheet of clear contact paper and secure the edges so they won't roll up or bend. Peel the backing off the contact paper, keeping the sticky side up.
3. Help children make their mural by creating designs on the contact paper with the various materials. For instance, they can cut out shapes and place them on the sticky paper, twist pipe cleaners into different shapes and attach them, and create swirls with yarn.
4. When children have finished, carefully place the foot-long sheets of clear contact paper over the finished collage so the sticky sides hold children's work in place.
5. Use a hole punch or scissors to make several holes along the top portion of the mural and thread them with twine or yarn. Hang the mural outdoors and take time to admire your work!
Spin-off: Make playground banners. Provide each child with a rectangular sheet of contact paper folded in half. Peel off the backing. Ask children to create a collage on one side of the contact paper and help them include their names in some way. As children finish, drape a long piece of yarn down the crease in the middle of the contact paper. Leave enough yarn hanging over each side so you'll be able to tie the ends together to form a handle for hanging. Fold the blank side of the contact paper over the decorated half. Trim banner edges with pinking shears and find an outside area to display children's work.
This activity originally appeared in the May, 1999 issue of Early Childhood Today.