Beautiful and colorful corn mosaic art is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers and kindergartners. You can also incorporate it into your next farm theme or vegetable unit!
This corn kernel art has been such a hit with the children over the years! The colorful and novel art “supply” keeps the kids engaged and interested as they create.
On top of that, the mosaic corn art gives the kids a ton of fine motor practice. It even touches on early math skills, and there are chances to practice problem-solving, too.
Related: Art Projects for Kids
I spent quite some time experimenting with the best way to dye corn kernels in 2013. Lots of blood, sweat, and tears went into perfecting that process.
Okay, well there really wasn’t any blood or sweat. And the tears only happened when I knocked a full container onto the floor. But seriously, lots of effort went into it because I really wanted to know how to dye corn.
The driving force behind that little science experiment was this idea for a colorful corn mosaic!
I love using beans to create Thanksgiving art with my preschool kids, but I really wanted to try something different. Thus the quest for colorful corn!
Colorful Corn Mosaic
At the end of my original corn dyeing spree, I had a variety of colors. The rich red and green corn from my most successful attempt, the blue and reddish-orange from my failed first attempts, and the basic yellow corn.
Related: Corn Painting Process Art
I didn’t want any of the corn to go to waste, so I made sure all of the colorful corn kernels were available to the children for this art project.
Over the years, we’ve dyed corn a rainbow of colors and created corn mosaic art so many times I’ve lost count!
Corn Art Materials
You don’t really need a lot of materials for this fall art project. Here’s what we used (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Colored popcorn kernels (click to learn how to dye corn)
- Construction paper
- Tray (can be sectioned)
- Contact paper (optional)
That’s really about all you need! You can add in other colorful materials if you’d like to, but I like the simplicity of just using the dyed corn.
Setting Up the Mosaic Corn Art
Related: Fall Painting using Pumpkin Seeds
Place your colorful corn kernels out in a tray.
If you and the kids have already mixed the dyed corn up, that’s okay! Just place the corn in a bowl or a tray. The children won’t mind.
Explain to the children that a mosaic is a piece of art created from small bits of materials.
Since they’re using corn, the kids are creating a corn mosaic.
Ask the children to brainstorm how they want their corn art to look. If possible, show them some images of real mosaics.
Point out that some mosaics are patterns, while others are groupings of materials to create a larger image. They can create their mosaic however they’d like.
How to Create a Corn Art Mosaic with Glue
As I mentioned above, the children can really create how they see fit.
I’m a big fan of process art for kids, and this corn art definitely fits the bill. The whole point of this activity is to allow children to work with colorful corn to make their own mosaic. It doesn’t have to look a specific way.
Some of the children might create pictures with the corn. I’ve seen the kids make flowers, rainbows, butterflies, landscapes, and more.
Related: Rainbow Corn Sensory Bin
Others might take a more free form approach with shapes and corn kernels scattered across the white paper.
No matter the outcome of the corn art, the kids definitely seem to enjoy the corn mosaic process. It allows them to explore creativity, practice their fine motor skills, and just have fun together!
Each time we create with the popcorn kernels, I happily create my own piece of corn art alongside the children.
Related: Corn Activities and Crafts for Kids
Since we often make corn mosaics near Thanksgiving, it gives us the chance to talk about our plans for the upcoming holiday. Creating and playing give way to such great conversations with preschool kiddos!
As I watch their masterpieces come to life, I get to hear all about what their grandparents are making for Thanksgiving dinner and what kind of desserts they’re looking forward to.
Once the corn mosaic masterpieces are completed, be sure to proudly display them in the classroom!
Using Contact Paper to Make Corn Mosaics
Why not incorporate sticky paper to your corn mosaic project? It’s an alternative to glue, and it adds a different aspect to the corn art.
To do this, cut out pieces of contact paper for each child. Then set out a tray or bowl of colorful corn kernels.
The children can add the corn to the sticky paper in whatever patterns they prefer.
Related: Awesome Art Ideas for Kids
Since they’re not gluing down the corn, these mosaics are more of a transient art activity. Be sure to take lots of pictures to document the children’s artwork.
This would also be a great collaborative art project for your students. Turn it into a giant corn mosaic sticky table by placing the contact paper, sticky side up, across a long table. The children can take work together to make pictures and patterns with the corn.
My students enjoy talking about their pictures — what they made, what color corn they used the most of, etc. (Sometimes it’s like they’re in an art gallery, standing back and appreciating what their buddies have created.)
Have you ever made corn mosaic art with the kids? Leave me a comment below and tell me all about it!
More Mosaic Art Ideas
If you enjoyed our corn mosaic art, you might enjoy these mosaic ideas too:
Straw Mosaic Art from Picklebums
Pasta Mosaic Art from Buggy and Buddy
Styrofoam Mosaics from Happy Hooligans
Temporary Mosaic Art from Meri Cherry
Mosaic Magnets from Babble Dabble Do
Simplify Your Thanksgiving Planning
Save time planning with resources from Preschool Teacher 101. You’ll find a variety of preschool lesson plans, early math and STEM activities, and early literacy ideas. Bonus – they’re all done for you!
Click on the pictures below for some products you might like. Be sure to look into the membership options for even more savings.
Originally published November 2013.