“What on earth are we doing!?”, my eight year old self thought. There I was, in class, hands covered in thick sludgy glue and newspaper strips. We all had hands covered in thick sludgy glue and newspaper strips. It. Was. Awesome. This was my first really messy play experience as a child. The fact that I still remember it to this day, goes to show just how powerful creative experiences – even / especially the messy ones, can be.
Our last experience with slimy glue was a good while ago when we made our string bird cages. With an itch to use some slimy glue again, I flipped through Maggy’s book, Red Ted Art. Maggy’s fabric bowls looked divine.
I didn’t have any fabric scraps on hand, so improvised with what we had. I’m a huge fan of paper crafts and these DIY paper mache bowls were so simple to make and, as with most paper crafts, turned out beautifully.
Tissue paper cut into approx 1 inch strips.
Mix-a-paste, mixed as a paper mache additive, (6L water to 50 grams of mix a paste powder).
Cover the outside of your bowls with cling wrap.
Paste strips of tissue paper to the bowl, on top of the cling wrap.
Cover the bowls with a few layers of tissue paper.
Let the bowls completely dry. (We left ours for a few days).
Once the tissue paper on the bowls is completely dry, carefully remove the paper from the cling wrapped covered bowls.
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Miss K soaked in this new crafting experience. She loved figuring out how to get glue out of the tub, onto her brush then onto her bowl. As I watched her, I realised how many steps and skills are involved in something so seemingly ‘ordinary’. Kids are adventurous things. You give them something. They’ll poke, prod, squish, and figure it out.
Then my attention turned to Mr N. It blows my mind how many skills children master over a short period of time. 5 y.o. Mr N is so different to 3 y.o. Mr N. For starters, 5 y.o. Mr N. talks (a lot!). He is more focused. His fine motor movements are more refined. He understands and comprehends the importance of being (more) thorough. He is more mature and can sit and concentrate for longer periods of time. In short, like all children, he is growing and developing.
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I wasn’t sure the paper mache bowls would turn out well. I thought that the tissue paper would be impossible to remove from the bowl, or that it would tear in the removal process. Imagine my delight when I saw our first completed paper mache bowl! (I used a very small butter knife to carefully separate the layer of crepe paper from the cling wrap/bowl).
All this from some slimy glue and tissue paper. I’m going to echo my eight year old self: “This. Is. Awesome.”
More Activities for Preschoolers
Three to Five: Playful Preschool is stuffed to the brim with tried, tested and loved playful learning ideas for preschoolers. There are 25+ ideas for preschoolers, ten printable resources and additional links to over 50 more activities. A great resource for parents. Download your copy here.
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