I begin every paper-mâché lesson by asking the campers if they have ever had an adult put way too much sunscreen on them. Maybe it was at the pool or the beach? The answer is always a groaning, “Yeessss!” Then I proceed to explain that they should all keep this in mind as they work. I compare the wheat-paste that we are using to lotion and the newspaper to skin. You don’t want to see white streaks and chunks all over. All you need is a smooth shiny layer on both sides of the newspaper strips. After a layer of newspaper they will apply a layer of blank white newsprint (so they can distinguish the layers) and after that a third and final layer of newspaper. After a brief demonstration to explain the technique we discuss what our balloons could possibly become. I emphasize that their decision is never final and if they change their mind about what they want to make it is fine. After that all of my campers line up in two single file lines and we hand out balloons. We have long skinny balloons, weird bumpy balloons and regular large and small round balloons.
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