Children love to create & explore. Mosaics is a wonderful craft to introduce children to, as they are able to explore colour, texture, size and design. Here are some tips to get you and your child(ren) started making mosaics.
Choose the base and prepare it in advance, e.g. seal or paint it
Gather the materials - This is where your children's imagination can go wild. Children love a large choice of sizes, colours, textures and a variety of materials. They love searching through containers of materials and gathering the pieces.
Plan the design. The design may be a picture they have already made, a cartoon or a simple geometric design. When it comes to drawing the design, use large shapes and don't worry about the detail. If a boarder is going to be added to the design, draw this in first to center the design.
Choosing adhesives - By far the easiest adhesive to work with is a non toxic PVA glue, but it does have its draw backs as they are water resistant not waterproof (an issue with external mosaics). Otherwise, a cement based adhesive can be used but make sure you take appropriate safety precautions when working with children (this is an adhesive that isn't manufactured for use by children). When applying the adhesive you can either get the children to apply it directly to the back of the tile or spread it over the base and get the children to lay the tiles directly into the adhesive, this is the quicker option. Any dried adhesive should be removed from the mosaic base prior to laying tiles, to ensure they are laid flat.
Using mesh is another option. The children can stick their tiles directly onto mesh sheets, which are then placed into the mosaic when completed and dry. For more information on The Mesh Method of Mosaics click here.
Grouting the mosaic - Grouting is a messy process that involves using grout which is a cement based product. Children love grouting because it is messy and part of the mosaic making process. Ultimately the choice is yours as to whether you involve your child(ren) in the grouting process. If you choose to involve your child(ren) make sure they are wearing safety equipment and supervise the activity. For more information on grouting go to our Beginners Guide to Grouting.
Words of wisdom for adults
It doesn't matter what the final product looks like, it is the process that matters. Be creative and have fun!
Try not to correct the work of your child, if a tile is stuck upside down, so what! It's all part of the process and fun.
Make sure you supervise children when making a mosaic.