This project allow children to get some great fine motor skills practice as they select and place the beans into their mosaic. They are also learning concepts of sorting, backgrounds and patterns. Click here to download a PDF lesson plan: Bean Mosaics Lesson Plan.
Age: 3 – 6 years
- Children will learn to follow sequential ordering.
- They will learn about mosaics, backgrounds and patterns.
- They will do some color and shape sorting and pattern creation.
- One 8 x 8” piece of white thick cardstock or cardboard per child.
- Thick oil pastels
- Glue in squeeze bottles, one per child
- Assortment of beans in various colors, shapes and sizes
- Write each child’s name on the back of an 8” square piece of cardstock or cardboard. We find this size is reasonable for the children to complete in a class session (roughly 45 minutes).
- Prepare a glue bottle for every child to use.
- Spread beans out on a tray, one per every two children. We like to use the lid from a round take-out lid container to hold the beans. The beans can be sorted, or not. Younger children benefit from having the beans separated to more easily see the similarities of the bean types, where older children enjoy the process of sorting their own beans.
- Explain to the children a little about mosaics– that they are artworks usually made of broken tile or glass, placed into plaster to create a picture.
- Show them an example of the project they will be making.
- Discuss a little about how a pattern is made by repeating objects and encourage them to use a pattern in their project – point out one on a sample project.
- Hand out the pieces of cardboard and have each child select an oil pastel from the supply table.
- Have the children cover the entire piece of cardboard with oil pastel to create a rich background. Explain to them that this background will be behind their beans. A background is the back of a picture.
- When children are finished, hand out glue bottles (or have them select from the supply table).
- Tell the children that they will now create an image on their colored background with the beans. They can do this by “drawing” with the glue first and then adding the beans, or going bean by bean and gluing as they go.
- Show the children how to place the beans in the glue to create their image. Demonstrate a pattern of repeating elements so they can better understand it.
- Allow the children to keep the glue bottle with them so that they can keep using it as needed as they complete their design.
- These will need a few days to a week to dry, depending on amount of glue and weather conditions.