You can help your child enjoy learning about whales by working together with him to create a paper mache humpback whale model. The craft is appropriate for middle school students, though younger children may enjoy helping make the craft with a fair amount of adult supervision. The result makes a handsome decoration for a child's room with an undersea theme. Create several and hang them from the ceiling with varying lengths of strong thread to create the illusion of a pod of whales swimming by.
Things You'll Need
- Cereal box
- Masking tape
- 20 ounce plastic bottle
- Tempera or acrylic paint
Cut two circles out of the cereal box, one 8 inches in diameter and one 10 inches. Make a cut along the radius of each circle.
Roll the smaller circle into a cone, secure it with masking tape and tape the base of the cone to the base of the bottle, with the opening of the bottle inside the cone. Crush one side of the cone to resemble the flattened snout of a humpback whale.
Roll the larger circle into a cone, secure it with masking tape and tape the base of the cone to the top of the bottle, angling the point of the cone up slightly. Fold down or cut off the top inch of the cone, using tape to create a flat edge.
Cut four pointed ovals out of the cereal box, each about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. Tape two to the sides of the bottle as fins and two to the tip of the larger cone as tail fins.
Mix equal parts flour and water to create paper mache paste. Tear newspaper into strips about 1-inch wide and 3 to 5 inches long. Dip newspaper strips into the paper mache paste and layer them onto the modified bottle, allowing the paper mache to dry thoroughly after every 2 to 3 layers.
Paint the whale black or gray after the paper mache is the desired thickness and has dried fully. Paint small black dots on either side of the smaller cone to indicate the whale's eyes.
Tips & Warnings
- To create the humpback whale's characteristic knobs, roll up tiny balls of newspaper between your fingers and stick them to the wet paper mache on the edges of the whale's fins and along its spines. Add at least one more layer of paper mache over them, molding the newspaper strips around the knobs.
- Photo Credit Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images