Celebrate this Halloween in a spooky (and educational) way! Create a fun decoration that will inspire your child to bring out the artist within, while learning about the letter "G". This art activity will help your child with letter recognition, and the sound that "G" makes. Practice repeating the "G" sound and saying “g” words such as green or ghost in this great gooey project.
What You Do:
- Begin by discussing the letter G. Ask your child to write (or trace) the letter on a piece of paper. Next, have her practice making a ‘G’ sound. Brainstorm words that begin with this letter sound. Connect these words to the activity. Pose questions such as, “What color begins with the letter ‘G’?” or, “Can you tell me what letter the word ghost begins with?”.
- Create a form or armature for the ghost. Using a full sheet of newspaper, have your child create a ball in the center of the paper. Place a piece of tape around the base of the ball, allowing the remaining newspaper to flow freely as the ghost body.
- Mix a batch of papier-mache paste in a bowl. This can either be store bought (look for non-toxic, washable paper paste mixes at art or craft stores) or made from household items such as flour (there are many different recipes on the internet).
- Have your child help you to cut long strips out of the white construction paper.
- Ask your child to dip the paper into the papier-mache mix (coating both sides of each strip), and cover the ghost form. Some paper will be hanging on the bottom of the body. Remind your child that this activity focuses on the letter ‘G’. Have her describe the papier mache mix trying to use words beginning with G, such as gooey.
- Set the gooey ghost aside to dry.
- Once dry, it is time to turn the ghost green. Give your child some green tempera paint and a brush. For an added lesson on color and color mixing, provide her with yellow and blue paint instead of green. Ask her to mix the two colors together and create her own shade of green paint. Paint the entire ghost, turning as it dries.
- Add two eyes with a second color of paint and a small paint brush.
- Set aside to dry.
The Great Gooey Green Ghost is now ready. Display your child’s Halloween creation in a prominent place as a creative decoration.
Erica Loop has a 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.