Last year I was working in the 5th grade classroom of our local elementary school. Every now and then the teacher would let me teach an art project to the kids. This project was easy, cost virtually nothing if you have some basic supplies on hand, and engaged the children for over an hour! Kids at every level of ability got involved and exercised their creativity because it could be simple or elaborate.
Here's what you need:
For each child you will need one plain piece of paper. Black, white or blue work well for background. Should be at least 8 by 10" preferably a little larger. We used 14" by 17". Each child will need a portion of map. The maps were ones I had collected over the years free from AAA. I cut a bunch of roughly 8 by ten portions that had a variety of colors in them so they could choose the color they wanted to use. I also cut up some colored tissue paper and put out scraps of construction paper from the last collage project. Each child will need glue stick ans scissors. Try not to use regular white glue for this project, your results will not be as favorable.
Tell the children to plan their collage in advance and decide what they are going to do. They should keep the shapes simple and rather large. Maps work great for Ice under penguins, mountains, water, sails for sailboats, cats, dogs, owls etc. The brown paper towels can be fashioned into branches for trees or for birds to sit on. Give them some ideas and watch the creativity flow!
After showing the kids some samples, I passed out pieces of map, tissue paper, construction paper, brown institutional paper towels and whatever else was left at the end of the year. They even used the towels and tissue to make 3d effects! Hope you enjoy the pics!