Paper mache projects are always a big hit at HealthBarn USA. There’s an arts and crafts element, but there’s also an ooey-gooey, messy element that kids just love getting their hands into. Plus, it includes a lesson about recycling by reusing old paper products to make something new! The kids usually make farm animals, or sometimes fish for when we go “fishing” for omega-3 fatty acids to make us super smart.
Time: 30 minutes active time, plus time to dry (usually overnight).
Materials: Unwanted paper products, flour, water, and balloons, plus art supplies for decorating.
Adult prep: Gather some old newspapers, magazines, or other papers you would otherwise throw out or recycle. Spread out some newspaper or drop cloth over your work area; it’s going to get messy!
- Kids can rip the papers into strips and small pieces.
- Have kids help measure out equal parts flour and water. Put the flour in a large bowl and add the water slowly, stirring, smoothing out any lumps.
- Blow up your balloon (or balloons). To create a more interesting shape, tape several balloons together.
- Dip the paper strips into the flour mixture and then allow some of it to drip off. Place the wet paper pieces around the balloon in 2-3 layers.
- Allow the project to dry completely. If possible, hang the project so that all sides are exposed to air. This step can take a full day, but can be sped up with the help of sunlight or a hairdryer.
- Depending on how strong you want the final product to be, repeat steps 4 and 5 one or two times after it’s dry.
- Pop and remove the balloon inside, and decorate the outside! You can use tissue paper, paint, or any other colorful art supplies.
A healthy lifestyle isn’t all about food: keeping kids active and fostering their creativity is essential for healthy development, too! In this blog, I’ll be sharing weekly activity ideas for families to do together.