Sunday, February 1, 2009

Paper Mache Planet

We like to make as many decorations as we can for birthday celebrations. This is also perfect for our unschooling lifestyle because they choose a theme they're interested in and we naturally learn more about those things to which interest us. So I see a fun learning opportunity as well as warm memories and a special way to honor & celebrate our Life together, they see PARTY!!! My boys both have January birth dates and since we go beyond cake and icecream and they have most of the same friends, I have been throwing their parties together. This year, they decided on a Solar System theme. (ok so their actual words were "Star Wars" :0) In fact Kyle is hoping for a blue light saber after his major disappointment with a red light saber he got for Christmas, he wants to be a jedi, and to him that means BLUE. We got to work making a model of our favorite planet...EARTH! 1st, we chose a balloon to blow up. Kyle has great lungs and so was the perfect man for this job.

We cut long strips of newspaper and coated them with a mixture of flour & water. The mixture needs to be to the consitency of soft serve ice cream. I've read you can add glue to the mixture for a longer shelf life. After the strips were coated, we wrapped them around the balloon.

Be prepared for a bit of a mess! I lined the floor with newspaper and kept a bowl of soapy water for us to dip our sticky fingers in. We found this to be a 2 person job, one to hold the balloon steady and the other to wrap the coated newspaper. At first my 4 loved to get their hands all gooey, but when the flour mixture started to dry on their hands, they weren't so pleased, so the nearby bowl of soapy water is a must!

Keep wrapping the newspaper strips around the balloon until it is completly covered. Then it's time to dry, this 1st coat took a day, then another day for the 2nd coat of newspaper.

So exciting! Now it was time to paint. I like to read relevant books aloud while the kids are doing their crafts. This book all about Planet Earth was Kobe's inspiration for painting his model in an "above the atmosphere" view.

I love how the texture turned out! I've been given permission to turn this into a draw string pinata for their birthday party (that I still need to set a date for) This was a long project but definitley worth it , and so here is our Planet Earth!!


Erin said...

Wow, my oldest would love this! His obsession with Star Wars has lead him to become interested in outer space and planets. Looks messy, but fun! We'll have to try it. :)

Shona Leah said...

Hi Erin! Nice to meet you. Let me know how it turns out!

reclamation mama said...

awesome planets! hope you guys are feeling better!

Shona Leah said...

Thank-you, 4 of us are better atleast, and I can finally drink coffee again :0)

Kate said...

Hey, found you via Flickr unschooling group. I love this. I have never considered myself a crafty person, but I want to share fun things like this with my kids, so I really need to see more pictures and read more blogs like this for inspiration. Thanks!

Shona Leah said...

Hi Kate! The flickr unschooling group inspires me too! I hope to have lots more projects and pictures to share so I hope you'll visit again soon, nice to meet you :0)