Young children love to do collage and a great medium is just a bunch of colored sticks and colorful cardboard. You can add more materials but I asked the students what they wanted to use for a collage and the group decided on colored sticks and cardboard only. Of course I like it when children have the freedom to choose whatever they want to create art but I also like to ask them to decide as a group which materials to use and they have to respect the decision of the group, stick to it and share resources.
Actually at home and as a vacation project you can use any type of sticks, from toothpicks to small twigs collected in your garden or nearby park.
I showed the children the technique to glue the sticks voted as the best by previous students. The technique is to dip the tip of the stick in the glue and place it on the paper. This way there was no mess or sticky fingers and the students could concentrate on their creation. However the students were free to try any other technique to glue the sticks on the paper. I just passed on to them previous experiences and I made it clear that what works for other group might not work for others. I believe it is important to show to students what was done before to see what else they can come up with. So far this is still the best method and the majority of the students chose it to do their artwork.
I was happy to see that the students created such different pieces. Although they chose to use the same technique for gluing the sticks on the paper, they were deeply into their own world to create a unique piece.
I have used these same materials to create collaborative work in large poster paper. The results were equally beautiful.