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Adventures with Paper Mâché!

Adventures with Paper Mâché!

After nearly 9 years of motherhood I have only recently plucked up the courage to do paper mâché! This year we have started to use the Ann Voksamp book “A Child’s Geography” (would highly recommend this book!) and one of the first activities is to make a paper mâché globe.

Yes, it is very messy. What surprised me was the boys were the least impressed with this activity, they did not enjoy the sensation of the paste. The Girl thought it a bit yucky, but persevered and worked hard on her globe. We made a flour based paste, this is the cheapest and is quite easy to clean up afterwards.

I can see some children loving the activity, enjoying the sensory experience.

Paper Mâché Recipe

1 cup flour
5 cups water (1 cold and 4 boiling)

Mix the flour and one cup of cold water in a saucepan, so it forms a thick paste. Stir in the remaining 4 cups of boiling water. Simmer the mixture for a few minutes, then allow to cool.

Use torn up strips of old newspaper, about an inch thick. Soak the newspaper in the paste, and remove the excess paste with your fingers. Cover a balloon with the strips.

To make a good strong ball shape you will need about three layers of newspaper. Each layer has to dry first. In our Scottish late summer climate I found this took 24 hours. If you had a warm drying room, of a hot dry climate it could take a few hours.

Once the layers are all dry you are ready to paint your ball as you wish!

Although I do not think we will be rushing to repeat this craft activity, the time taken over it did produce a real sense of achievement. And the globes we have made are really strong… the toddler has vigorously tested their potential as footballs!

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