Making paper mache is not only cheap, but it's a fun way to get creative with your children. It helps to develop motor skills, as well as associate them with colours and shapes. You can also help them get acquainted with the planets as you're constructing them.
Mix 125 g (one cup) of flour with 1.2 litres (five cups) of water, and boil for at least five minutes, stirring so that the mixture doesn't burn. Let your mixture cool, and then add about one tablespoon of salt to prevent moulding of your paper mache.
Blow up balloons of various sizes. Tie a string at the end of your balloons (let them vary in length) and set aside.
Take your mixture, and dip your newspaper into it. Apply the newspaper to your balloon, and add about four layers.
Let your paper mache dry for up to twenty-four hours. Once dry, take your safety pin and gently press against the mache until you hear a pop.
After your mache has dried, you can begin to paint your planets. Once done, let them dry overnight.
Take your completed planets, and attach them to your child's ceiling. For a wonderful effect, take glow in the dark star stickers and place them on the walls and ceilings to create a backdrop for the solar system.
If you want to make a mobile, complete the above steps, but create your mache smaller. Tie your planets to a hanger at various lengths, and affix it to the ceiling above your baby's bed.
Fabric paint works best for this project.
If you're worried about the mess factor, invest in a smock for your child.
You can also use washable paints.