Doing hands-on crafts is a fantastic way for kids to learn about the world around them and beyond. Teaching a child to make papier-mâché planets gives him or her a chance to learn about our solar system and put that knowledge to use. It can also be lots of fun.
Things You'll Need
- Balloons (preferably round, can be purchased at party stores)
- Full-color diagram of the solar system
- Old newspapers
- Craft paints
- Craft wire (optional)
Inflate and tie ten balloons, one for each planet as well as the Sun. Refer to the solar system diagram to determine the desired size for each planet.
Cut the newspapers into strips. They should be about 2 to 3 inches wide and 6 to 7 inches long. You will need a great deal of paper strips to adequately coat each balloon.
Make a papier-mâché paste by mixing flour and water. It should be thick enough to coat the paper without tearing it, but not so thick as to resemble dough.
Coat the paper strips generously with the papier-mâché mixture and stretch them taut on the balloon. Do this until the entire balloon, except for a small spot on the knotted end, is covered.
Coat the balloon with about 3 or 4 layers of papier-mâché strips, allowing ample time for drying between layers.
Repeat these steps for all the balloons.
Give the balloons ample time to dry once the final layer of paper has been applied.
Pop the balloons and remove them from the structures once they have dried. Additional paper strips can be added to cover the hole, if desired.
Paint the papier-mâché orbs to resemble the Sun and planets of the solar system, using the color diagram as a guide. Don't forget the extra details like Earth's land formations and the giant red eye of Jupiter.
Duplicate the rings of Saturn by constructing a papier-mâché ring to encircle the orb, using craft wire for structure, if desired.
Tips & Warnings
- You can suspend your stellar creation from the ceiling using simple string or fishing line and some hooks.
- Pluto is no longer technically a planet, so you don't have to add it if you don't want to.
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