Early Years Collography

CollographyThis is another great printing activity. Building on the skills learnt in previous weeks at toddler group the children were asked to make their own print blocks before getting down to the business of printing

What is Collography?
Collography is where you make a collage and use it as a printing block. You can use any materials you like stuck onto a rigid surface, cover in paint and then lay clean paper over the top to make the print.

CollographyWe used self-adhesive shapes simply because we have an hour and a quarter to do the activity. But at nursery, if you’re a child minder or at home you can break this activity into three parts.

1. Collecting and gathering the collage materials. This could be done on a walk out or by having a good old rummage through your collage stash.

2. Making the printing block – simply glue the chosen collage materials to a ridged surface like thick card or a piece of wood. Leave to dry.

collography3. Apply the ink or paint to the surface of the printing block using a brush or roller. Lay clean paper over the top, smooth down the paper for full contact, peel back and reveal the print.

Encourage the children to make more than one print before ‘inking’ the block again. They will see how the print fades with each pressing.


The Children’s Collography

The children loved this activity. In fact we all did mums, dads and grans included.

The first challenge was to make the print block. As I said before, due to time constraints, self-adhesive foam shapes were used to make the collage. The children loved the challenge of peeling the white paper off the foam shapes with squeals of delight and shouts of “I’ve done it,” with every successful peel.

Some children only wanted to do the collage part of the activity. And some loved the peeling and sticking so much that they wanted to make another. Fantastic.

This week I brought along blue, yellow and white paint to represent the lovely May flowers. Have you noticed the bluebells, forget-me-nots and cornflowers? They’re beautiful against the green foliage and made more vibrant if they are near yellow welsh poppies or dandelions.

I encourage the mums to point out the flowers to the children on the way out to help make connections between the colours we used and the flowers growing at the moment.

Colour Mixing
As you can see, the yellow and blue soon got mixed up to make a green. And the white helped to soften the colours down to pastels. The mixing of colours added to the final effect of the prints.

One picture, made up of multiple prints, looked just like leaves (or shadows cast by leaves). Beautiful.

One little girl loved the printing part, placing her paper on top of the painted print block and thumping down to make the impression. She giggled and squealed with delight as she did this.

I encouraged the children to feel the collage through the paper as they printed to get that extra sensory dimension to the printing process.

Lots of prints were made and the children took home their pictures and printing blocks. One little boy, who comes with his gran, kept saying ‘Mummy will love this.’ I bet she will sunshine, because you made it.

All in all a very successful activity engaging the children, letting them practise their fine motor skills whilst having lots of creative fun.


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