Kid Craft: Hidden Picture Bean Mosaics

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Did you ever make bean mosaics as a kid? The intricate nature of this activity, delicately placing each individual bean in place one at a time, builds fine motor skills – but also focus and concentration skills too. You can also add sorting into the mix if you buy a bag of mixed dried beans and ask your little one to pick out all the green or brown beans before you get started.

Obviously this activity is a winner on its own, but today we’ve got a fun little twist on it: making a hidden picture game. This can be an individual project or it can be done with a whole group of kids.

You’ll need the following supplies:

  • dried beans in three or more varieties
  • canvas or cardstock paper
  • standard school glue
  • small paint brushes or sponges (optional)
  • an outline of an image of your child’s choosing (try not to pick anything intricate)
  • To start, cut out your chosen image and trace it onto your canvas or paper. Then add a glob of glue in the middle and begin covering it with one type of bean.

    Work your way outward until the entire image is covered. (You can use the sponges or paint brushes to apply the glue to narrow areas). Next use beans of various colors to fill in the rest of the canvas.

    The finished product reminds me of those 3D pointillism posters that were so popular when I was a kid. Can you see the frog?

    To turn the project into a game, have kids work on their art in private – only sharing once they’re finished. Then lay all the completed pieces on a table. Have everyone walk around the table and describe what they see. You’ll get some surprising, and often amusing, answers.

    Photo Credits: Stephanie Morgan

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