These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch
Make

Make: An Interactive “Scavenger Hunt” Art and Play Activity

Pack your art supply bag and take a calming breath – we’re going on a scavenger hunt – right from the comfort of your favorite cozy chair!

These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch

These lovely little collages pull double creative duty – they’re a mixed media art project you can turn into a fun tool or prompt to help kids apply calming visualization techniques, explore nature, try practical life map-reading, practice creative storytelling and much, much more!

One thing I’ve realized after weeks stuck inside is that my sense of “home” extends far beyond the walls of my actual house. Having spent the last few weeks missing some of our favorite places, we decided to re-create them in 2D form. And because I can RARELY leave an art project at that, I made them into a simple little game that you can use in all sorts of variations!

These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch

The art process itself is an exploration of texture, mediums, and mark-making inspired by some of my favorite artists and illustrators (see Christian Robinson, Clover Robin, and Kellen Hatanaka among others…!).

These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch

Pre-made printable textures + a few standard craft supplies are all you need to make your own backyard, grandma’s house, favorite park, campground or fantastical dream getaway! Indivially or as a set, these textured beauties are so beautiful simply as kid-made art, but read through to the end for tons of ideas to help you turn this project INTERACTIVE…

To make your own scavenger hunt collages you’ll need:

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*

BASIC SUPPLIES:

  • A piece of construction paper or heavy cardstock for the backing
  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors
  • A glue stick
  • Crayons, colored pens or pencils, or other drawing & painting supplies
  • Small stones or rocks

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES:

Kids Scavenger Hunt Collage Instructions:

  1. Gather your supplies and pick a background

    One of the best parts of this collage is that it gives kids the opportunity to explore interesting texture combinations. Patterned papers, newspaper, paper bags, tin foil, and parchment are all wonderful things to combine with regular construction paper or cardstock for lots of rich added texture. These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch

  2. Cut and paste simple shapes to create the base of your landscapes

    Use your memory and imagination to begin building the base of your landscapes. What are you going to make? Your backyard? A relative’s home? The zoo? A park? It’s totally up to you!
    These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch

    Cut out simple shapes from the textures to create the backgrounds and beginnings of your landscapes. Think about BIG pieces of the landscape. Where is there grass, sidewalk or road? Is there a big garden, pond, lake or fence?

  3. Try making your own textures on paper

    Once you have the larger pieces of your landscape glued on to your background, you can start adding details. This is a great opportunity to use some different art tools to make your own textures.

    These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch
    A dry toothbrush or brush can create interesting scratchy wide columns of color when dragged across the surface, or soft speckles when flicked over paper. Chalk or oil pastels make great rock texures, and a white pencil scribbled on colored paper really stands out!

  4. Paste on all your collage pieces and add hand-drawn details

    Once your own textured paper have dried, cut out your smaller details and paste them to your collage with a glue stick. Stand back and look at your composition once you’ve finished. You can add interesting touches or more detailed elements with a colored pencil, white chalk or stick of charcoal. These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch

  5. Create your scavenger hunt direction sheet and markers

    If you’re going to use your for a scavenger hunt (virtual or real!) you can make your simple direction sheet from a small square of scrap paper.

    These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch

    Cut out 2 sets of circles in 3-5 (or more!) colors. Paste one set on to your direction sheet, and the rest of the circles on to small stones or rocks.

    *Note: Instead of using color-coded circles on your rocks, you can put stickers, add people or paste other small details onto the rocks so you can move them around the map!*

  6. Place your rocks on your landscape and write in directions for each location

    Now it’s time to create your scavenger hunt (for you or someone else!). You can reference our suggestions below or come up with your own game.

  7. Have fun!

    Time to play! Some of our ideas involve taking your collages outside to match real-world places with scavenger hung directions or collage locations. You may want to slip your collage into a sheet protector before you head out to keep things tidy and protect these mini works of art!These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch

When coming up with themes for our virtual “scavenger hunt” we quickly realized the possibilities for how you combine your collaged landscape with your scavenger hunt are truly endless!

These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch

Scavenger Hunt Theme Ideas:

  • CREATE A COLLAGE OF YOUR OWN BACKYARD AND…
  1. Make a list of exercises/natural things to find or look for. Mark real-life “station” locations on the 2D map with a rock (for instance list “3 jumping jacks” and place a rock next to the pine tree in the backyard to indicate where the “jumping jack station” is). Take your map outside and go through the stations!
  2. Place rock markers on 3-5 locations on the collage. Ask your child to share their favorite thing about each spot, or see how many things about that location they can describe from memory.
  3. Create a series of calming, meditative exercises (things like, “take 10 deep breaths”). Place one of your color-coded rocks on to your map. Ask your child to visualize that place in the backyard, then complete the calming prompt that matches it. You can take this outside, or simply use it as a visualization aid while sitting together in a quiet place, adding rocks to the map together.
These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch
  • CREATE A COLLAGED LANDSCAPE OF A FAVORITE PLACE AND…
  1. Write down descriptions of places on your scavenger hunt. Let your child lay the rocks next to the locations described.
  2. Instead of using color-coded circles, paste drawings of small items or details on to the rocks and have your child match them to the place they belong on the map. or You could also use animal (or other themed) stickers!
  3. Use your rock markers to tell a story. Write out a list of story prompts and place rocks to indicate the location where that part of the story should take place. You could also cut out photographs of family members faces, etc. and move them around the map as the story progresses.
  • CREATE A COLLAGED LANDSCAPE FROM IMAGINATION AND…
  1. Give the places on your map creative names and ask someone to match the places on the collage with the names by placing a rock marker on the correct location.
  2. Use your collage to create a story-telling game for 2 or more kids. After a rock is placed, the next person in the group tells a story about that location. When done, they place the next rock for the next person in the circle.
These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art exercise and mental scavenger hunt that will help your kiddos find some calming inner peace! | via barley & birch

No matter how you decide to use your collages, I hope you have fun re-creating the places where you feel most at home! They’re a little reminder that our imaginations offer a unique way to visit when real life doesn’t feel like cooperating.

These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art project and map exerercise that turns into a nontraditional scavenger hunt for games and learning through play! | via barley & birch

If these little landscapes are right up your alley, you can try making one from torn paper, create fairy playscapes from playdough, or use cardboard and paper to make your own BIG foldout city landscape for play!

You might also like making scrap stamp collages or this quick composition exercise!

This project works well for older kids, but little ones might enjoy our simpler free printable nature scavenger hunt!


*A note about Amazon affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

These interactive kid-made collages are a fun art project and map exerercise that turns into a nontraditional scavenger hunt for games and learning through play! | via barley & birch
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About Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.

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