I am always trying to think of alternatives to the classic winter subjects of snowmen and penguins, and last year I devised a snowy owl collage project using torn scraps of wallpaper. I still have stacks of textured wallpaper samples in my paper cabinet, so I decided to dig them out again for another winter project.
The idea grew out of a successful shape collage activity earlier in the year (see my post from April 2013: Shape-o-saurus! Dinosaur Collage). Shape collage is a really fun, easy way for young children to create an effective image, and also great for learning and revising basic shapes. This time the children created their own garden bird from semi-circles, circles and triangles, which I cut out from a range of textured wallpapers before the class.
The first task was to rub grey, blue, pink and yellow chalks onto grey paper to create a wintry sky like the ones we have been seeing in recent weeks. Then the children glued on a torn strip of brown paper for a tree branch, before arranging and sticking down their wallpaper pieces to create a bird, standing upright, pecking the branch or preparing to take flight!
Eyes and legs were drawn on with a black marker pen, and then the children dabbed on white paint using stubby paintbrushes to create a flurry of soft snowflakes!
I love the multi-layered texture of these pictures, which really evoke the colours of winter. Every bird has its own individual character!