Tractor Collage (Recycled Preschool Project)

My four year old is obsessed with papers. Cutting paper, ripping paper, stabbing paper, gluing paper. Scribbling, drawing, stacking, sorting, piling, stuffing into plastic bags and old cardboard boxes.

It got to the point where I was constantly walking around picking up little leftover paper bits from off the floor. It was making me nutso! We’ve tried making recycled paper (maybe a future post?), but we can’t keep up with the volume of scraps laying about. My husband finally designated an extra basket exclusively for paper scraps, and declared that all paper scraps must go immediately into recycling, garbage, or the basket after being used (an idea also suggested by Heather of Townsend House).

That being said, even the basket gets overfull. And then it is time to think of a project. Today’s was this fun tractor collage:


Tractor Collage 1The process was really quite simple. We used one of J’s favorite tractors for our model. As you can see, it’s been well loved- it’s now missing a fender and the smokestack, and the grill is always being removed (somehow or another)- but it’s still a lovely little tractor:

Tractor Collage(Ours was a gift, but you can check out these similar tractors if you want to snag your own.)

First, I laid the tractor on a large piece of sturdy paper and roughly traced the outline:

Tractor Collage2Next, I filled in the outlines of different color sections on the tractor, and shaded the black parts in so we would have a guide for our collage (artistic, I know) :

February 2015 024Next, we started cutting up papers in different colors (a little grey, a strip of white, some blacks, and lots of reds) from a combination of newspaper, magazine, and construction paper.

February 2015 026We worked in small areas, one color at a time. We used this disappearing purple glue stick so that J could see which areas were glued and which ones weren’t. You can see our progress as we worked:

Tractor Collage3

Okay, so J made it through all the grey, white, and black, and about halfway through the red… and then guess who finished it? 😉 (Though J added a single blade of grass as his finishing touch.)

Regardless, this was a really fun little project for us! You could do it with any number of objects, and you could  pick more or less detail depending on your child’s age and ability. You could also print out free coloring pages from your computer to use as a collage template.

Hope you have as much fun cutting and pasting as we did!

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