meat tray mosaics


Children create beautiful Mosaics with painted styrofoam produce trays:

You may remember that we were painting this styrofoam produce trays the other day:

I always have a stack of these on hand in our craft room.  I just run them through the dishwasher to make sure they’ve been sterilized before we use them for crafting.

On Monday, had each Hooligan select a colour and paint their produce tray.  We used Crayola Washable Kids Paint , but once dry it scratched and chipped easily so I put a clear coat of craft varnish over the paint to set it.

In the past we’ve used acrylic craft paint and it adhered very well to the styrofoam trays.

I wasn’t sure how we were going to use the painted trays so they sat overnight until I came up with an idea:  Mosaics.

Getting children started with scissors:

Yesterday  I set out the trays and a jar of scissors, and we cut the trays up into smallish irregular sized pieces.  This is a wonderful way for young children to begin using scissors because styrofoam is easier to cut through than paper.  For more suggested materials for toddlers to strengthen their scissor skills on, please check out, 5 scissor exercises for children.

Tips for toddlers and glue:

Next, the hooligans glued their styrofoam pieces onto a black construction paper.

Squeezing a glue bottle is one way for young children to strengthen their hand muscles, which will help when it comes to using scissors, and later on when they’re learning to print.

For very young children who find a glue bottle too difficult to squeeze, pour a little glue into a small container, and have them use a craft stick or paint brush to apply the glue to their project.

Don’t they look lovely?mosaics made with painted styrofoam meat tray pieces

Such a simple idea, and so pretty.   Check out our styro-framed art creations if you’re looking for another simple and beautiful way to use meat trays!And if you’re looking for another mosaic project, check out our Paint Chip Mosaics!  It’s a simple and beautiful activity that won’t cost you a thing!


  1. says

    Try mixing some liquid soap with the paint. It helps it stick to slippery surfaces such as windows and balloons. It doesn’t take a lot but amounts vary with the paint.


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