What I Learned Today
Two year olds are too young for paper mache.
My son (5 years old) declared today Bug Day. Tomorrow is Water/Ocean Day. It seems that special days such as these require crafts. I thought about doing a pom pom/pipe cleaner something to make some bugs, but I wanted to do something different. Remembering the water balloons, I thought we could do paper mache. It's been years since I've done paper mache and I remember it as a really cool way to make stuff. I made a pinata in my Spanish class in high school. It was a blue VW Bug. I had a neighbor that used a shopping cart and chicken wire to make a dinosaur mini-float so that the neighborhood kids could be cavemen in a parade. Plus the other school projects like small models of the Earth, etc. So you can see why I think of paper mache as being a great craft. What I failed to remember was that I was quite a bit older than my kids when I did my first paper mache projects.
We did great with the paper strips and blowing up balloons (except that water balloons are difficult to blow up). We did fine attaching balloons to each other to form buggy shapes. I made the paste myself since it involved cooking (see recipe below). So we were all set up and ready to begin. I did a quick demonstration and then prepared the paper strips for the kids. My little girl (two years old) had some problems sticking her paper on the balloons and quickly lost interest. She wandered off and entertained herself by popping the remaining balloons. My son tried but couldn't quite get the hang of it. He got a little overwhelmed with trying to cover all of the balloon and he hated having the goo all over his hands. So I finished his for him while he made more paper strips for me. The plus side of me having to do all of the work is that their wasn't a huge mess to clean up.
The future bugs are drying now. The original plan was to let the kids decorate them with markers, but they may need a coat of paint once they're dry. My son plans on making a cricket, a bee, and a dragonfly. I'm not sure what my daughter's will end up being. So far it's two balloons stuck together. I'm not sure I'm ready to for painting after doing paper mache this morning. How long does it take to dry anyway?
Tomorrow is Water/Ocean Day and I've already decided that there will be no crafts. Water balloons will be much easier.
Mix 1/2 cup of flour with 2 cups cold water. Boil two cups of water. Add the flour mixture to the boiling water and bring it back to a boil. Remove from heat. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar. Let it cool. While it cools it will thicken and be ready to use.