In honor of Halloween and pumpkin season, I decided to try an ambitious project with the 2s and 3s this week... paper mache pumpkins! I used small balloons as a base for the paper mache, ripped newsprint strips, and a simple paste mixed with orange paint to make it a little more interesting. I also had to create a stand out of tagboard (similar to poster board) and masking tape to hold the balloons in place. I knew this was a difficult undertaking, so I asked the parents if they would help their children with this project (for the 2s class only). I usually encourage children to explore on their own, but this collaboration proved to be necessary to get the balloons fully covered- putting such an emphasis on the finished product is not something I do often, but I think the kids still really enjoyed the idea of making a pumpkin!
Some kids meticulously used paint brushes to apply the paste, while others were happy to dunk their hands in!
The 3s class was really into this project and managed to cover their balloons without much help.
I knew this project was a stretch for my 2.5 year old class, but was curious to see how my class of young 2s responded to paper mache... It turned out that they were not interested in it at all! First they were thrown off by the balloon being taped to the tray and immediately wanted to get it off so they could play with it. They also were not into the idea of painting gooey paste on their beautiful, clean balloons.
Luckily, I knew this aversion to paper mache was a possibility so I had a back-up plan!
I brought out a large bin, some black and orange paint, and a variety of balls to create a rolling ball painting. The kids mixed the balls in the paint, put them into the bin, then rocked the bin side to side to create rolled lines on the paper. I even convinced them to put the balloons in as well.
When the children moved back to the table I offered them collage materials, glue, and paint. This was much more their style!
Once the paper mache pumpkins were finished in the other classes, the children found various painting projects to work on.
For the final activity of the day, I brought the kids outside to try out the rolling ball painting that we did in the young 2s class. This project is of course exciting to kids because it involves paint and rolling balls, but it's also a great collaborative experience. In order to move the balls around, the children need to work together and communicate with each other.
Some of the finished paintings... very web-like and fun for Halloween decorations.
In the young 2s class, we ended with a painting dance party and jumped around to a Kidz Bop version of "Can't Buy Me Love"- at their request!