Thursday, July 17, 2014

Preschool Paper Mache

(4 Years)

Paper mache!  It screams childhood.  Ripping paper.  Mixing flour and water.  Putting your hands in a goopy solution.  Painting the dried creation.  Fun!  Making a paper mache project is a great way to work on so many skills at once, in a playful way of courseripping in strips (it's harder than it looks for a four-year old),  following directions, hand-eye coordination, measuring, pouring, mixing, transferring, using a paint brush (great practice for writing with a pencil), color mixing, and of course developing those fine motor skills.

They liked the fact that they got to rip paper.  We haven't ripped paper (other than wrapping paper) in a long time.
Look at that smile!  That's right my little one, rip the paper, develop your pincer grip to prepare you for writing.
Measuring the flour and pouring in the water.  We used a 1:1 ratio.  We also added in a teaspoon of salt, it's supposed to make the mixture resistant to mold- at least that's what I was told in school.

Wild One getting wild mixing his solution together.  
I think he thinks that he is one of the kid chefs on Master Chef Jr.  

"It's fun to mix fast.  Do you want to try it?"
"No.  I like mixing slow."
Twins?  Really?
I wrapped a small glass bowl in plastic cling wrap.  Turned it over and modeled how to dip in the strip of paper, squeeze it out between two fingers and then place and smooth the strip down on the bowl, and they were off! 

Look at that concentration!  Wild One is squeezing it out perfectly.  
Little Miss found a short strip of paper to begin with, she loves tiny things.


Ta da!  On the left is the one Little Miss created, on the right is Wild One's. There was about three coats of strips on their bowls.  Let them air dry for two days.

Carefully, pull the cling wrap until the paper mache bowl starts to release.  If the inside of the bowl feels damp, continue to let dry.  Ours was ready after the two days.  I grabbed 
our Dollar Tree muffin tin, some paint, paint brushes and called the kiddos over.

Little Miss was stunned that the paper hardened into a bowl.  She loves painting.  If you don't want to see any of the newsprint, I'd recommend spray painting the bowl a base color first.  

 At first Wild One didn't want to paint.  He changed his mind a few minutes later.

She is painting the rim of her bowl a contrasting color.

Wild One is excited because he created gray.  

He's holding his paint brush like a magic wand.

We let our painted bowls dry and then I sprayed them with a clear coat of spray paint.  Now we have beautiful handmade catch-alls to hold some of most-used art supplies.  They are remarkably sturdy.  I thought we would have to be careful with these, but they dry into a pretty rigid bowl.
When they saw how beautiful they turned out, they asked to do this again.  Yay!  
I just love zero-added cost projects, don't you?

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