Use this paper mache fish to go fishing for omega-3 fatty acids! (

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’ Activity:

  1. Kids can rip the papers into strips and small pieces.
  2. 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.
  3. Blow up your balloon (or balloons).  To create a more interesting shape, tape several balloons together.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Depending on how strong you want the final product to be, repeat steps 4 and 5 one or two times after it’s dry.
  7. Pop and remove the balloon inside, and decorate the outside!  You can use tissue paper, paint, or any other colorful art supplies.

Share photos of your paper mache creations!

– Stacey Antine, MS RD, author, Appetite for Life and founder, HealthBarn USA

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.

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