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This activity is best for children four-years-old and older.

Supplies needed:
a cup or bowl to balance the balloon
newspaper torn roughly into 1/2" strips (do not use any paper that has a glossy coating)

Paper mache paste mixture
2 cups of water
1 cup of flour
mixing bowl

Adults assist children in pouring flour and water in blender and process until a smooth paste is formed. Pour mixed paste into a bowl.

Take a stripe of newspaper and dip it into the paper mache mixture. Place the paper between your fingers and pull the paper through like a squeegee. Smooth the wet newspaper over the balloon. Continue dipping and smoothing till the balloon is entirely covered. Allow the paper mache to dry overnight. Any leftover paper mache mixture can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator to be used the next day.

The next day, repeat the above process for a second layer of paper. If desired, wait one more day and add a third layer for a stronger finished creation.

Once the paper mache is completely dry, the egg can be decorated. Tempera, acrylic, and poster paint can all be used to paint the egg. The egg can also be decorated with collage materials -- items such as feathers, paper scraps, tissue paper, foil, or other recyclable material can all be adhered with glue to the egg.

Eggs can also be cut in half and a small stuffed dinosaur can be placed inside.

Suggested adult interactions:
Challenge the children to think what else final paper mache creation can be.
Discuss with children how dinosaur mothers and fathers took of their children. Check out the Adult Resources for books about that subject.

Skills developed:
Mathematics skills through measuring
Small motor skills through manipulation of materials
Creative thinking skills through decorating of paper mache

Literacy connection:
Encourage children to write and illustrate a story to go along with the dinosaur egg.

Reading books:
Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs (board book) by Sandra Boynton
Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Diggory Shields
Dinosaur Bones by Bob Barner

Adult references:
Baby Dinosaurs by Don Lessem
The Art and Craft of Papier Mache by Juliet Bawden

Next time you are here:
Check out Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice to travel back in time to explore the late Cretaceous Period (when the last dinosaurs lived).


At April 6, 2010 at 6:19 PM Dan (the Monster-Man) said...

Paper mache is a great medium for children. But there is a much easier way to apply the paper strips. Don't put the paper strips into the paste, ever. Only put hands in the paste. The wetness of your hands will thoroughly soak the strips of paper. Rubbing wet hands over the base (balloon or anything else) will squeeze out the excess paste and air bubbles. Putting paper in the paste will cause it to fall apart making it difficult to spread the paste evenly. This is particularly true when kids do it. They get blobs of paste between layers along with air bubbles which undermine the strength and delays drying.

Only hands in the paste!
Check out instructional videos about this at www.PaperMacheBlog.com.

But keep doing paper mache!

At April 8, 2010 at 1:45 PM Minnesota Children's Museum said...

Thanks for the tip, Dan!


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