Whether you are a teacher staging a school play or a parent looking to create a dramatic setting for a fantastical activity, children's scenery can be a backdrop for many imaginative scenarios. From large-scale painted murals to life-sized cardboard cut-outs, cool scenery for children offers the opportunity for action-packed days filled with creative energy.
Painted Mural Backdrop
Kids can create a cool mural featuring any number of different types of scenery. Choose a subject or focus for your mural based on the narrative of a story, play or imaginary situation. Try a landscape design such as a grassy meadow, tangled forest, beach scene or mountainous area or select a car-filled city street as an outdoor setting. For a simple backdrop, start with a roll of butcher paper. Cut a piece to at least 10 feet in length. Secure the ends of the paper with rocks or some other heavy weight to prevent the paper from re-rolling. Invite the children to draw an outline of their scenery with bold markers, and then fill in with tempera or non-toxic craft paints. As an alternative, try the same type of mural using a king-sized white bed sheet or long pieces of canvas and non-toxic fabric paints.
Cool creative collages can make imaginative scenery for your child's school or at-home project. Use large sheets of poster board taped together on the back or over-sized rolls of paper as a background. cut pieces of colorful construction paper into basic geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles and triangles to make a mosaic-style collage effect. Draw a basic outline of the scenery features. These should match the subject of the play or play scenario. Make trees and flowers for a general outdoor scene, skyscrapers and automobiles for a city-scape or even animals or people for a more elaborate subject focused backdrop. Glue the cut construction paper into the outlines to create a cool collage.
Design life sized cardboard cut-outs for a cool compliment to any play scenery construction. Reuse old moving, packing or large electronics boxes. Open the box, making it lie flat on a floor or outdoor ground workspace. Draw life-like or inanimate objects onto the cardboard with a dark marker, using as much of the surface as you can. Create characters from a play (imaginary, people or animals), cars, trees, bushes, buildings or any other item that you can dream up. Color in the scenery creations with markers or paint. Cut the images out with scissors and prop against a wall or create a stand by folding a cardboard rectangle in half and gluing to the back of the cut-out. Kids, especially younger children under middle school age, may have difficulty cutting through thick cardboard. If you notice that your child, or student, is struggling it may be best to step in and help with the cutting process.
If you are looking for a realistic style scenery project for your child or students, try a photo activity. Ask the child, or children, to take digital photos of images that match a play's narrative or any imaginative scenario. These can be outdoor pictures of an entire landscape, individual images of trees or flowers, photos of more urban designs or indoor photographs of a specific room in the house or a school. For those working with a larger budget, professionally print the pictures through a photo lab to poster or life sized if possible. Families and schools looking for a less expensive option can print the photos to full page size on a computer printer. Use the photo scenery to accent a colorful backdrop or collage a few together to create a more elaborate image.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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