Activity: Creating a collage of a favourite place

Illustrations play a vital role in a picture book. They provide information about the story or characters that are not spoken about in the text. In fact, there are many wordless picture books that tell powerful stories- all without a single word. Illustrations also play a very important role in helping children learn to read, as children can look for clues about a story in the illustrations. Giving children the opportunity to create their own illustrations can help them understand that  communicating their ideas is possible through images.

Our background story:

At 18 months, my daughter (Cam) already loves the collage work of Jeannie Baker. She reaches out to touch the images expecting to feel a range of materials. We recently borrowed ‘Where the Forest Meets the Sea’ as part of our Aussie Book List Series, and again she was fascinated by the artwork.

As Australia Day was also approaching, I thought we could attempt our first collage made from a range of materials.The idea was to create an image of a place that is special to Cam. At this stage, she has only had a holiday to one place which is where her dad has holidayed since he was a boy. At 18 months Cam’s memory of Paynesville is quite simplistic: ‘water, sand, boom (i.e fireworks)’ but I think her first collage is pretty special.

Cam couldn’t wait to show her dad and I’m sure she can’t wait to do it again.  She absolutely loved collecting the materials and was fascinated by the Clag brush and glitter. I couldn’t pull her away from the craft. She continued to glue until dinner time.

Books that inspired us:

Where the Forest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker (Walker Books)

We were also inspired by the many books that capture the beauty of Australia’s terrain and environment through their words and images.

You will need:

  • Poster paper (We used a paper roll from Ikea)
  • Glue (Clag is a friendly adhesive for little hands but isn’t the strongest glue for collages)
  • Scissors
  • A range of natural and man-made materials

Our approach:

1. Decide on what image to create. For Australia Day you might like to create a place that is special to your child.

2. Collect  materials

3. After drawing an outline of your image, glue the materials to the paper

Finished product. Our first collage!

Activity: Creating a collage of a favourite place


  1. My poor grass!!!!!!! Lucky it is such a super cute photo!

  2. Too cute- reminds me of a ‘collage’ BabyG made after her dad clippered his head once! Did you know there’s a Jeannie Baker exhibition on at the moment? I saw it in 2000 in the Tasmania State Museum and I’ve never forgotten it.

    • Did Baby G use her Daddy’s hair to make a collage- how funny?
      Yes Mirror exhibition is in Melbourne but not for much longer. Will certainly get there. wouldn’t miss it. Check out our events calendar for other events like this!

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