Window Collages – creative indoor play

How’s everyone going in this wet wild weather? Hasn’t it been crazy lately! Winter can just leave us alone now, please.

We’ve been making some duraseal window collages here at home so I thought I would share this indoor activity with you.

Duraseal is a really handy item to have in your stash of winter craft items. It’s a super sticky sensory sensation, is a little bit of a different thing for kids to explore, and is relatively cheap from PaperPlus for $5 a roll (or you can see if your local Eco-shop has any… here in Christchurch, Creative Junk has loads of it).

This activity does require a little bit of preparation, but once it’s set up, the kids can make it their own and you can sit back and have a cuppa (hopefully).

Here’s a few things I really like about this particular activity: 

  • It gets the kids working on a vertical surface – working on a vertical plane helps strengthen and stabilise the muscles of the shoulder and upper arm. Remember when you used to write on the whiteboard (or chalkboard?!) at school and how tiring that was?
  • It encourages crossing of the midline – by sticking items on the opposite side to the hand that they’re using, kids are getting both sides of their brain to work together and developing co-ordination
  • It develops depth perception

    IMG_9498
    Mr 4 discovering that these polystyrene pieces stick out further than other pieces.
  • It allows kids to have relatively free play using loose parts to create with
  • It gives an opportunity for sensory input; particularly proprioceptive (input to their joints) if they press hard to try to get items to stick! Once, when I put up a really large piece, my boys loved trying to “stick” their whole bodies to it.

    Sticky Hands
    Experimenting with how hands can get stuck
  • It can be easily graded for different ages *see below
  • It creates a piece of artwork on display in your home that your kids can be proud of

You will need:

Duraseal, scissors, sellotape or masking tape, and various materials to create the collage with *(see various photos, and blurb below where I discuss using different types of loose parts for different ages)

IMG_9494
Example of an array of materials.

To set up: 

Cut the width of duraseal that you want. Peel the backing off about 10cm. Stick a length of tape along the edge, on the sticky side.

Secure this on the window at the top of where you want your collage to be.  Pull the backing completely off. Tape both sides and the bottom onto the window. If you’re a bit of a control freak, try to make it straight, otherwise you’ll be wanting to rip it off again the next day ;).

IMG_9835
Two collages spaces set up, using natural materials gathered during a trip to the Botanic Gardens. This duraseal is from Creative Junk. 

Place the container of materials in front of the duraseal. If you have two kids participating, set up two window collages side by side with two containers of materials, to avoid any squabbles (this is what I tend to do and it works a treat).

Then let the kids go for it and see what they come up with!

*A note about the types of materials you provide… for younger children (under 3 years) I recommend items that you know will stick very easily. In order to keep them engaged, the items need to have no-fail stickability, otherwise they will quickly lose interest. Keeping it simple with paper shapes is ideal for younger children.

IMG_1714
Using simple paper shapes and a few cut up pipe cleaners at ages 11 months, and 2.5 years.

For older preschoolers, it’s interesting to discuss with them more in-depth as to why certain items might stick more easily than others (lighter vs heavier, smooth vs furry surface). Older children might like to go on a scavenger hunt around the house or garden to see what they can find to stick on. It’s all part of the activity! 

Here are two examples of finished window collages that we’ve created, one using natural materials and one using loose parts gathered at Creative Junk:

Enjoy, and I would love to see a photo of your kids’ window collages if you do this with them. Tag me on instagram rach_stayathomeot or post it to my Facebook page The Stay at Home OT

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