Imagination and Curiosity

One of my greatest loves of working with the Early childhood education crowd is their undying curiosity and pursuit of things beyond their reasoning. I recently had a conversation with 3 four-year old boys who explained to me about how dragons were real. We discussed how they knew they were real because they had seen them on t.v., but admittedly, had never seen them at the zoo. Of course this led us into other conversations, about fact and fiction, and how we know things are real. I asked them about mermaids–yes they were real, a definitive yes. Finally I asked about fairies. “Are fairies real?” I asked. “Fairies??!!” The boys began to laugh uncontrollably.”No Teacher Paula, (shaking their heads in disbelief) of course fairies aren’t real!” Classic. I love their logic and this age is full of magic as the lines of fact and fiction are yet so blurry.

With this in mind, I invite you to try this simple project. A paper mache creature. This is a fun way to allow your child’s imagination and curiosity about creatures, fact and fiction, to fly with just a little hands-on creativity.

My students talked me into making an Apatosaurus, which evolved into something more mystical, but you can make whatever your child would like. Here’s how:

IMG_4716Find what your child wants to create in a book or on the internet

You’ll need a Sunday newspaper, or the equivalent in pages and strong tape.

Create the body of your project and begin taping. Tape is your friend. Tape legs, arms, and the basics. Leave fangs and scales and claws or other details for the final project. Tape like mad and make it STURDY.


Next mix a compound of flour, water and glue; think pancake mix consistency. No recipe needed–you can’t mess this up. Tear long strips of newspaper about an inch thick.

Dip newspaper quickly into the mixture, squeeze off extra between two fingers and place on your figure. Do this until all space is covered, and remove any extra goop. Let dry. Repeat process and make sure to add any details you may want–spikes or ridges. (Leave small details until after painting process) Final coat, cover with white tissue paper strips. Let dry.


Paint gently and lightly with chosen colors. Add teeth, fangs and other accessories. Let dry.

Use this masterpiece for adventures and exploring, but be aware, it does not take kindly to rain!!

Have fun!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Speak Your Mind