Make Paper Mache Characters
Do you ever wonder what excites your child about that favorite character in a series or story? Here's a way to find out! Help your child to create an original character or a familiar favorite from a book or series he adores. Imagine the hours of craft and puppet show entertainment, not to mention creative play essential to your child's development!
What You Need:
- 2 parts water
- 1 part white glue
- Plastic or glass mixing bowl
- Newspaper or magazine strips
- Tempera paints
- Paint brush
- Masking tape
- Yarn, buttons, rhinestones, fabric scraps, pipe cleaners, paper towel rolls, toilet rolls, empty juice box (optional: for added body parts and decoration once mold is dry)
What You Do:
- Discuss with your child their favorite character from a story they have read, and tell them that you are going to help them create that character!
- Make a base shape for the character’s head. If the character is a person, balloons work best. If it is an animal or animated character that does not have a round shape for a head (animal or robot for example), consider other options like an old juice box or egg carton. Have your child help you add paper towel rolls, toilet rolls, etc. to form the body, arms and legs, and attach with masking tape to create the form.
- Mix the glue and water in a bowl until the consistency is like a paste. Make sure it is more on the liquid side and glossy.
- Have your child help you dip newspaper/magazine strips in the paste, squeeze off the excess, and lay them over the form in layers cover the form completely. The flatter and smoother the strips are applied, the easier the details will be to paint on later.
- Allow the form to air dry for several days until completely hardened.
- Now have your child decorate your character with paint and other items that you choose. Glue on colored tissue paper or scraps of old fabric to create clothes. Yarn works well for hair.
- Look at your creation. Are you amazed at how well your child can include specific details about their beloved character? Find out how far you can go with this concept by encouraging your child to make up a puppet show, interviewing the character as a news anchor, or telling stories about the character. You might be surprised just how much your child knows about reading comprehension, summarizing ideas, and telling a story!