This fun activity is an excellent way to get your kids interested in history, as well as arts and crafts! Mosaics – small, hard-wearing tiles – have long been used for decorative purposes on floors, walls, and other surfaces of temples, villas, palaces, and public places around the world.
The Romans were big fans of this artistic technique, which even small kids can have a go at! Although traditionally the tiles are usually made of stone, pottery or glass and glued in place with cement, you can find all you need to make mosaics for kids at home – no cement needed!
How to Make a Mosaic
For kids’ mosaics, you can easily buy a starter kit at your local craft shop, which will include pre-prepared tiles and grout. But, why not be a bit more creative and recycle some materials at home?
You can make a simple mosaic with paper, glue, and cut up magazines – just follow our instructions below! Before you start, be sure to protect surfaces and clothes. If sticky fingers end up creating gooey glue stains, don't panic, just check out our washing tips here.
You will need:
- Glossy magazines
- A sheet of white paper
- A pencil
Optional: For a textured effect you could make mosaics for kids using tiles cut out of off-cuts of different types of material, as well as old magazines.
- Go through the magazines and tear out any large sections of coloured paper.
- Cut the paper into strips and then squares.
- Organise the paper squares into containers or plates of different colours.
- Draw the 'broad strokes' of your chosen design on the sheet of white paper.
- Start filling in the design with the coloured 'tiles' of paper glued end to end with small white gaps left in between.
- Once you've filled in the whole page with coloured tiles, frame your finished artwork and hang it on the wall for everyone to admire!
Mosaic patterns for kids
Not sure what type of mosaic to create? Thankfully, the Internet is a great resource when it comes to mosaic designs and there's lots of information on Roman mosaics for kids that you can print out. You could try a design featuring a blazing sun, a beautiful butterfly, or a roaring lion. The possibilities are limitless.
Another great way to get your kids inspired is to take them see a Roman mosaic up close. There are many excellent examples of Roman mosaics in Britain, many of which are available to view by the general public. Why not visit an ancient site like Chedworth Villa or Fishbourne Roman Palace? These will not only be a fantastic source of mosaic ideas for kids they'll also make for a great family day out!
What mosaic patterns did you and your kids try? Did you go exploring and find any original Roman mosaics for your kids to draw inspiration from?