Making a papier mache globe is a fun way to celebrate Earth Day and teach children about world geography. Younger children can create a simple papier mache globe. For older children, the project can be modified for a more complicated and geographically detailed globe.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 1 large, round balloon, blown up
- Paint stick or spoon to mix the glue
- Old plastic containers for mixing glue
- Sponge brushes
- Pin or needle
- Green and blue tempera paint
- Paint brushes
- Black fine-tip marker
Make papier mache glue by combining 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of water. The mixture should be thin. Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan on the stove and stir the glue mixture into the boiling water. Simmer it for about 3 minutes and let it cool.
Tear the newspapers into strips approximately 1-inch wide. Dip the strips of newspaper, one at a time, in the glue, or apply the glue to the paper with a sponge brush. Inflate a spherical balloon and cover it with newspaper strips, about 3 layers deep. If you have time, allow the papier mache globe to dry between each layer, but if not, be sure it has several days to dry after it is completely covered.
Poke the balloon with a needle. (It may pop by itself.)
Use a map of the earth as a reference. You can use your own map or print out maps from the websites listed below.
Draw a pencil line around the middle of the balloon to represent the equator, and make a dot to represent the North and South Poles. Draw all seven continents one at a time, starting with the United States. Use the reference map to estimate how large each continent should be in relation to the poles, the equator and the other continents.
Paint the water blue and the continents green.
Use the fine tip marker to label the seven continents, the oceans, equator and poles. This can be kept simple for younger children, but older children can label more geographic features.
Tips and warnings
- Attach the globe to some nylon thread and hang it from the ceiling.
- You can also make other papier mache planets to create a model of the solar system.
- This project requires a lot of newspapers. Save them ahead of time so you'll have enough to complete the project. Use some of the newspapers to cover your working system too, as this project is messy.
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