This is an excellent activity for encouraging young children to look at shapes around them. It also provides cutting practice and helps children develop their fine motor skills. Older children will have fun choosing appropriate (or wacky) pictures to use to build their robots!
You will need:
Old catalogues and/or magazines
Look through the catalogues for good shapes with which to build their robot. Point out to children, for example, that a television might make a good body, while a stereo might make a good head.
Cut out the shapes that you want.
Use these to build your robot.
When you are happy with your design, glue your robot to the paper.
Older kids might like to try building a robot using only newspaper. They can make use of good headlines and incorporate different type styles into their robot, or just use the advertisements.
Older kids could make more of a collage by adding "found" objects and crafty bits and pieces to their designs. Washers, nuts and bolts, bottle caps and other metallic objects are particularly effective.
Vary the activity by making "aliens" instead of robots! Aliens tend to suggest a different collection of shapes, objects and colours.