It’s about that time when schools require kids to complete science projects of some sort. And that usually means parents are helping a LOT to complete these projects. And even my 6-year-old Makenna is required to do a project for her science class.
My daughter is a kindergarten student and studying wood in her science class. Her teacher thought it would be a good idea to for the class to do a Paper Mache project since paper is made from wood. I asked her what she wanted to make and of course she says Nemo. Why is she still obsessed with this fish?
My search began on How to make a Paper Mache Clown fish. We started the project on a Friday night and we finished it up on Sunday after dinner. In the beginning I thought what a great way to spent extra time with my little one. I didn’t know that she would bail on me half way thru the project only to return when the painting began. All in all we had a blast doing this project.
What you will need to complete this project:
3 Paint brushes (I used one for each color paint you don’t need that many if you want to wash them in between use)
White paint (I don’t think water colors will work feel free to try it)
A image of Nemo (use this as a reference I googled Nemo images and screen shot it on my phone)
To make that solution:
2 cups of flour
2 cups water
Mix together in a large bowl
(Be prepared for you child to say it smells like pancakes.)
There’s other ways to make this solution. This is the one I chose to use. You can look it up online.
- Get your old news papers and tear them into strips or small pieces
We did both because we used the smaller pieces on the fins. We used approximately 20 sheets of newspaper.
- Get a balloon any size depending on how big you want your fish to be and blow up until you get light headed (just kidding). Make sure you tie the end or you will need to blow it up again.
- Dip your newspaper strips in the solution coating both sides. Take off excess solutions with your fingers.
(Pinch paper with index finger and thumb and run it down the paper the solutions will fall off)
- Place the paper with solution on the balloon until the balloon is covered. You will want to do this in an uninformed manner. You will have to do 3 layers of this letting each layer dry before you start the next. (My girl bailed on me midway thru the second layer)
I would think you can shorten this step if you don’t need to do anything special with it. We did all three because she has to take it to school.
- Next we had to cut the fins out. We traced them on a cereal box and cut them out. We used our image of Nemo as a reference We then taped them onto the fish. Make sure that your last layer of Paper Mache is completely dry or the tape won’t stick. Ours wasn’t so it took a lot of tape. (By the way at this point she returned to help out a little if you consider looking and jumping up and down with excitement helping as I do)
At this point you wrap the fins with 10 layers of Paper Mache. I think the thicker the fins the better for transporting it. So you be the judge if you want to do 10 layers or not. Remember each layer should be dry before you start the next.
Once the fins are dry you will want to begin painting. We lucked up and found a quart of orange oops paint at Home depot for $2 and we had black and white paint in the house from various DIY projects I did.
- We painted the entire fish orange. She got fancy and said that she didn’t want any of the newspaper to show thru. So we did 3 coats of orange paint letting each coat dry before we painted the next. I thought it would be neat to have it show thru but she didn’t want that. (Oh by the way she began to help me at this point brush in hand and giving me directions)
She carefully decided where she wanted her strips and eyes to go. She painted the strips white and out lined them with black.
She carefully painted the eyes white on the bottom in a circle then an orange circle on top of that then a black circle on top of the orange circle. She painted a black smile on the face. Nemo was complete.