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Dried Bean Mosaics
Have you ever wanted an enjoyable, inexpensive craft to do with your children no matter their ages?
It’s fun to sit around the kitchen table and have a project that is adaptable for your two year old and can also be challenging enough for your ten year old, and when your twelve year old sees what fun you are having he might surprise you and sit down and get involved as well.
We have tried the old method of covering the cardboard with white glue and then trying to arrange the design = sticky fingers + messy area.
Here’s a new idea: use the sticky side of contact paper.
• Contact paper
• Heavy cardboard – use a cut off side of a box
• Glue – Tacky, or low heat glue gun
• Glue – white glue that will dry clear
• Variety of dried beans or legumes
If you buy a bag with a variety of beans you can let them do a sorting activity first. Set out a muffin tin and help the kids sort each type of beans into the individual cups.
You may want to have them draw a simple design on the cardboard such as a sun, rainbow, sailboat or flower. Cut a piece of contact paper so that it is the size of the cardboard piece. Use the glue gun or tacky glue to attach the contact paper to the cardboard. If you don’t have glue gun you can staple the contact paper. Trim any edges that hang over the cardboard. Take the backing off of the contact paper to expose the sticky side.
NOW - Two options: Encourage them to follow the design that previously was drawn, or allow the children to express themselves with any flourish or design they desire.
Press the beans onto the sticky contact paper background to make the design.
A nice feature of this project is that the children can work on it over a few days to the level of their interest, skills and ability.
When the mosaic is finished give each child a bottle of white glue with squeeze lid to fill in between the beans with a stream of white glue. The glue will dry clear and the beans will remain tightly intact.
This project can make a picture suitable for framing or you can encourage them to make a frame of sorts with strips of colored paper, or duct tape or washi tape to cover the edges of the cardboard.
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