This simple hot air balloon craft is a great project for young children practicing making patterns (one orange, one blue, etc) and beginner scissor skills (cutting out the paper strips).
You could make the project a bit more challenging by asking them to make more complex patterns -- like patterns using three colours. You can also make themed balloons -- like red, white and blue ones. My preference is to let the kids make up their own rules for this craft though!
- a printer,
- a piece of paper,
- Optional: patterned scrapbooking paper or construction paper
- Print out the hot air balloon template or draw your own on a piece of paper.
- Set aside the balloon template for now -- we won't be using it quite yet.
- Remind the children how to hold their scissors.
- Cut strips of paper from scrapbooking paper or construction paper. I like to just use construction paper -- it's inexpensive and looks great but if you have some leftover scrapbooking paper, that works really well too.
- Your paper strips should be about an inch wide and 8 inches long -- you can just do this freehand/estimate it.
Ruler Skills Practice: If your child has mastered patterns and scissor skills already, you can practice making lines an inch apart with a ruler -- mark an inch at the top and bottom of the page and then use the ruler to draw a line between the two marks. I personnally wouldn't add this skills practice to the craft if children are still new to scissors and patterning as it's too many things to learn in one sitting.
- Talk to the children about making patterns -- for example, one orange, one blue, one orange, one blue. Ask them what kind of pattern they would like to make and have them lay out a few strips of their pattern on the table. Some children will enjoy spending quite a bit of time playing with their patterns before they begin gluing pieces on.
- Turn the balloon template UPSIDE DOWN, so the black lines are lying on the table. You can still see them a little bit through the paper.
- Squeeze glue all over the backside of the paper if you tend to work quite fast or just put it on a section of the paper if you need a little more time. You can squeeze it straight from the bottle or use a plastic cup with glue inside and a popsicle stick for applying it.
- Lay your paper strips on the paper, recreating your pattern. You can put them on the paper vertically, horizontally or diagonally.
- Let dry.
- Once your glue is dry, flip the paper over so you can see the black outline of the balloon. Now carefully cut out your hot air balloon shape -- this is the best time for an adult to lend a hand -- I usually do this on day two (we just let it dry overnight).
- Hang on the fridge!
- or -
Glue your hot air balloon to a popsicle stick and make it dance while you sing this song:
I'm a Little Balloon (tune of I'm a Little Teapot)
I'm a little balloon - look at me!
oh what color can I be?
If you said that I was
colored _______ (a color that you used to decorate your balloon)
then stand right up and shout _______ ! (something that rhymes with the color - it can be silly)
so, for example, if you used blue the last two verse might be:
If you said that I was
then stand right up and shout YAHOO !
Here are some color rhyming words to start you off:
blue - yahoo!
red - Yay, Fred!
yellow - hey, hello!
grey - hurray!
green - and scream!
purple - Not Flurple!
orange -- oh my goodness, nothing rhymes with orange! *giggle*
- Close the template window after printing to return to this screen.
- Set page margins to zero if you have trouble fitting the template on one page (FILE, PAGE SETUP or FILE, PRINTER SETUP in most browsers).