Easter is such wonderful time! The warm Spring weather raises spirits and energizes bodies. The children are restless after the long winter and eagerly anticipate the annual rite of coloring Easter eggs.
While awaiting the special holiday, why not plan a fun family project? Preparing paper mache Easter baskets with your children can be an enjoyable and creative experience. This activity will also enable you to extend Easter joy outside the bounds of the immediate family when Easter Day finally does arrive.
* A plastic tablecloth
* Liquid starch
* Newspaper, torn or cut into 4 to 6 inch strips
* Poster board
* Acrylic craft paint
* Craft paint brushes
1. Lay a plastic tablecloth on your work surface, in order to make cleanup easier.
2. Blow up a large balloon. This will be the form for your paper mache Easter basket.
3. Pour liquid starch into plastic bowl or bucket. Make sure it is large enough to reach in and dip newspaper strips.
4. Cut newspaper strips into pieces 4 to 6 inches long. You'll need a lot of newspaper-enough to cover your basket with three layers of paper mache. You don't need to measure the strips as they don't have to be exact.
5. Dip newspaper strips, one by one, into the liquid starch and use them cover a little more than half of the balloon. Repeat for a second coat and then let your basket dry overnight.
6. When the newspaper strips are dry, pop the balloon and remove it. You want the top edge to look like a broken egg shell, so don't try to make it smooth.
7. To make a handle for your basket, cut a strip of poster board and staple it on opposite sides of the basket.
8. Put on a third coat of paper mache on the outside of the basket, and also cover the handle. Allow to dry overnight.
9. Paint the outside of the egg anyway you choose. You could make stripes, patterns or draw an Easter scene. Paint the inside a solid color.
10. Allow the paint to dry for 3 or 4 hours. Fill the inside with Easter grass. You can use the new egg basket for dyed Easter eggs, candy or other treats.
Children as young as six can participate in this activity with supervision. They may want to make several, as they exercise their creativity, painting a variety of designs or pictures on each one.
On Easter Sunday, every family member will have an opportunity to spread joy to neighbors, grandparents, friends, or perhaps even the residents of a local nursing home, as they distribute their unique, treat-filled baskets. This experience will possibly be the most memorable part of the current year's holiday festivities.