Bubble wrap is a useful material for protecting your valuables during a move or cushioning gifts you're mailing to relatives, but the same air-filled packing material is also an unexpected crafting supply for art projects. Preschool children are particularly interested in various textures, and the squishy, bubbly surface of the plastic wrapping is useful for creating patterns or textures with paint.
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Snowy Day Prints
Bubble wrap with small, closely positioned air pockets are ideal for creating snowy winter scenes with preschool children. Ask students to draw themselves playing in the show on pieces of coloured construction paper. Students might draw stick figures building a snow man or a picture of a sledding hill. After they finish their drawings, help the students press small squares of bubble wrap bubble side down into trays of white paint. When the coated wrap is pressed onto the drawing, the resulting print resembles snowfall.
Under the Sea
Underwater scenes are whimsical and colourful, and large-sized bubble wrap provides a simple way for adding bubbles to underwater drawings. Start preschoolers off with light blue construction paper. Students might opt to draw fish or underwater plants onto the pictures, or you might prefer to provide younger students with tracings of fish and plants. For beginner crafters, reference pictures or stickers of fish are helpful to provide ideas and inspiration. After they finish their undersea drawings, show students how to brush blue paint onto the textured side of a sheet of bubble wrap using a paint brush. When children press the painting wrap onto their drawings, the blue circles look like under-the-ocean bubbles.
Introduce preschool students to basic patterns with bubble wrap prints or stamps. Help students use coloured tape to create simple patterns on sheets of bubble wrap. Children might create square grids or a series of triangles. Children paint a different colour in each section of their pattern to create a series. Before the paint dries, help children transfer their pattern stamps to a large pieces of paper. If the paint dries, children repaint the grid and stamp with the fresh paint. As children develop their skills, encourage them to create more complicated patterns like concentric circles or differently sized bands of colours.
The clear plastic material that bubble is made out of is a kid-friendly material for creating imitation stained glass art pieces. Painting on the textured size of the bubble wrap may be difficult for preschoolers, so opt for the flat side if children appear to be struggling. Provide children with gel-based washable paints that allow light to pass through once the paint has dried. Children might paint suns or flowers on their sheets of bubble wrap. After the paint dries, use a hole punch to make two holes at the top of the sheet and thread a piece of yarn through so that the panels can hang in a window.
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