With holidays and birthdays year round, it seems there's never enough wrapping paper around the house. Why not give the kids an activity they can do that also helps replenish your wrapping paper supply? When people open a gift from you, they'll be pleasantly surprised to know that the gift came in paper handmade by the kids. Plus, this wrapping paper is made from sponge art -- and it's a fun way to take old sponges and put them to new use!
Old (or new) sponges; multiple shapes and sizes are fine
Paint in primary colors (red, yellow, blue)
Bowls for holding paint
Butcher paper strips, or even newspaper
What You Do:
Help your child cut the sponges into various shapes. Ask her what shapes she would like to use as stamps. Suggest circles, squares, triangles, etc. It is tricky to do anything too intricate when cutting a sponge, unless it is very thin.
Lay out a long piece of paper. Newspaper will also work as wrapping paper, so you can always use that in a pinch.
Pour your red, yellow and blue paint into separate bowls.
Encourage your child to experiment with mixing colors on paper plates. What happens when she mixes blue and yellow? What about red and blue? If she wants to make lighter or darker shades of each color, try adding white or black paint into the mix. She'll use these “new” colors to create the wrapping paper.
Have your child carefully dip the bottom of her sponge into one color paint, remove excess paint, and stamp it onto the paper. She can place the stamps in any way she desires. Repeat this process until she feels she's created the design she wants.
After it dries, see if your child would like to use a marker to draw designs on her sponge shapes. A shape might look like a monster, so draw monster faces on it! Encourage her to embellish the stamps using her imagination.
If it's holiday time, cut triangle sponge stamps and have the kids decorate them with thumbprint hollyberries.
Let dry, and get wrapping!
Lisa M. Cope is a freelance writer who focuses on parenting and child development issues, among many others. She is the mother of two boys, ages five and two.