Looking for a fun project to inspire your young athlete? This fun papier-mâché project is a perfect match! While making football sculptures, kids can build critical thinking and problem solving skills. As they work, they'll be using art concepts such as texture and color to spruce up a one-of-a-kind football.
What You Do:
- Before you can create the sculpture, you need to create an armature, the skeleton that forms the sculture's shape. Start by blowing up a balloon until it's slightly larger than a grapefruit. This is a great time to discuss shapes with her. What kind of shapes make up a football?
- Cut the cardboard into triangles, and help your child roll them up into cones.
- Then, tape the cones on opposite sides of the balloon to make a football shape.
- Now, help her completely cover the balloon and cones with newspaper and tape.
- Now that you have the armature, it's time to get it looking like a football. Have her cut the brown construction paper into strips.
- Have her take one strip of paper at a time, dip it into the papier-mâché paste, and wrap it around the armature. Repeat until all the newspaper is covered.
- Set the sculpture aside to dry.
- When it's completely dry, you're ready to decorate. Let her get creative! She can use the tempera paints to add pictures, a team symbol, or her favorite team colors around the outside of her football.
- Finally, have her cut short pieces of yarn and glue them to the top to represent the football’s laces.
Want to do more sporty papier-mâché projects? Use a single balloon to create an over-sized tennis ball or baseball, or add a dimpled layer of paper on top of the balloon for a fun golf theme. Soon, your child will have a whole gallery of papier-mâché sports balls!
Erica Loop has an MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.