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Inspiring Paper Mosaic for Kids: Ancient Egypt-Inspired Process Art

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Step into the world of process art with a refreshing paper mosaic activity that channels the natural beauty of the Nile River. This engaging lesson invites kids to sift through magazine pages, cutting and arranging geometric tiles to recreate the lush, fertile banks of the Nile.

Kids will love the freedom of this process art activity, feeling no pressure to create a “perfect picture.” This collage-making experience is designed to spark curiosity about our world’s diverse environments, focusing on how the Nile has shaped the land around it and nurtured the ancient Egyptian civilization. 

Looking for more process-based art activities? Check out our post on printmaking with found objects, or the super fun, toddler-friendly sculpting with paper pulp!

Create a Nile-Inspired Paper Mosaic

Skills Developed:



Before diving into the collage-making, let’s embark on a quick discovery of ancient Egypt. Show your kids captivating images of the Nile River from above, the sprawling desert, and the timeless art found in the ruins of this ancient civilization. Point out the vibrant blues and golds that dominate the color schemes of Egyptian artifacts, and compare them to the more subdued desert hues.

The Nile River was the cornerstone of Ancient Egyptian civilization. Stretching over 6,600 kilometers (4,000 miles), it is recognized as the longest river in the world and played a critical role in sustaining life in a land that was otherwise desert. Each year, like clockwork, the Nile flooded, bringing water and nutrient-rich silt to the land, which made it possible for the Egyptians to grow wheat and other crops. This annual inundation was so vital that their calendar was based around it. The river also served as a highway for transporting goods and people, which helped to knit the civilization together. Without the Nile, the grand achievements of Ancient Egypt, from its majestic pyramids to its enduring culture, would have been unthinkable.



  1. Flip through the magazines with your children, looking for colors and textures that echo the ancient Egyptian palette and designs, as well as the colors of the desert and the Nile River.
  2. Encourage the kids to carefully cut out various shapes and patterns from the images—think squares, rectangles, triangles, and strips.
  3. On the black cardboard, have them arrange their cutouts into a mosaic, leaving space between pieces to create a striking negative space effect. This step doesn’t require glue yet—it’s all about planning the composition and experimenting with their paper tiles.
  4. Once they’re satisfied with their layout, it’s time to begin the collage. Show them how to apply glue to the back of each piece and secure it in place on the cardboard.


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