Activity

Make a Hanging Jellyfish

What You Need:

  • Children's scissors
  • Plain white paper dinner plates (look for the lightweight ones with scalloped edges!)
  • Tempera glitter paint (available online or at arts and craft supply stores) and paintbrushes
  • Streamers in 3-4 bright colors, 1-1/2" to 2" wide
  • Stapler and tape
  • Newsprint or a plastic cover for your work surface
  • Plain string, for hanging the completed project

What You Do:

  1. Start by talking about jellyfish. Find pictures in a book or online. Inform your child that these sea creatures come in a multitude of colors and sizes, and that they live in oceans around the world. Find information on what jellyfish eat, where they live, and more. You may want to talk about jellyfishes' connection to our marine ecosystems, or share that in many cultures around the world, the rhythmic motions of the jellyfish are also inspiration for dance and art.
  2. Next, lay out a protected work surface, such as a table covered with newspaper, and set up a couple of coordinating colors of glitter paint, each with a brush. Then set out two plain paper plates, face down.
  3. Let your child paint the bottom of each plate, covering the surface completely.
  4. While the plates are drying, have your child cut at least eight streamers approximately 20" long.
  5. Once the plates are dry (tempera paint dries quickly), poke a hole in the center of one of the plates. Help your child tie a knot in the end of the string, and poke the string through the hole. Encourage your child to do the bulk of the project to increase their fine motor skills, but offer help when needed.
  6. To assemble the jellyfish, take the plate with no string tied on and lay it flat on the table, painted side down. Then help your child place one end of each streamer around the edge of the paper plate. Arrange the streamers so that the colors alternate around the perimeter of the plate (you can even create a rainbow pattern if you like). Tack them down with a piece of tape. Then lay the plate with the string through it on top of the other plate with the painted side up. The two plates will make a "sandwich," with the streamers anchored between and dangling from the sides.
  7. Finally, have your child staple the jellyfish perimeter together, taking special care to secure the streamers. When you're done, hang your jellyfish from the ceiling and watch the streamers sway in the breeze. If possible, invite a sibling or a friend to join you, or create more than one — these colorful painted jellyfish are particularly appealing grouped together. 

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