Will you look at this adorable fox made from a cereal box, newspaper, and paint. Sometimes making art with these kids feels like alchemy. I give them trash and a few instructions and this is what they come up with, GOLD.
They made all kinds of animals from unicorns to cyclops reindeer with small tree branches for antlers. We have pigs, owls and puppies. Paper mâché is so fantastic. I love the way some of the kids left the newspaper exposed, adding a rustic element of design.
All you need is some cereal boxes, scissors and tape. If they want to make an animal with a longer face then give them a longer box. If they want and animal that is more round then give them a square box. Cut slits about halfway up the sides of the cereal box on both the front and the back.
Then cut a curved front and back of cereal box and tape the flap down the shape of the curve. This is now the chin or bottom of your animal.
Cut out ears from another cereal box and tape them near the top of the box. You can use a ball of newspaper or another small box as your nose depending on the animal your are making.
Now come the messy fun part. I give each child a tray to work on so clean up is a little easier (not that much easier actually). I mix up about a 1 to 1 ratio of water and flour to make a light paste. Using a whisk is very helpful. I then add a bunch of Elmer's glue which helps to harden the mixture once it dries. Unfortunately I don't have the exact measurements. I am an estimator depending on how the paste feels. But I would say the it would be a 1 part glue to 3 parts flour/water mixture.
Also a helpful tip is to tare the strips of newspaper into squares of different sizes, some 2X2" and some 4X4". The squares are easier for them to wrap around the ears and cove the noses as well as smooth down onto the box form.
Make sure it's all covered with a few layers. They will usually dry overnight, unless you have a kid who really likes to pack on the goop.
Once they are dried they are ready for the paint and I also like to have them add paper elements, like whiskers, eyelashes or even eyes after they paint them. It adds a nice other element to the faces.
This girl is adding whiskers to her rabbit by curling strips of paper around a pencil.
This one has some curled eyelashes.
The final touch is to hot glue a curved piece of wire or paper clip the back of the animal head near the top so you can hang it on the wall.