With holidays and birthdays year round, it seems there is never enough wrapping paper around the house. On a rainy day, or when relaxing around the house, why not give the kids an activity they can do that also helps replenish your wrapping paper supply? With this craft, your kids can practice playing and designing with shapes like triangles and circles, in all sorts of colors. When people open a gift from you, they’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the gift came in paper hand-decorated by the kids. Plus, this wrapping paper is made from sponge art — and it’s a fun way to take old sponges and put them to new use!
What You Need:
- Old (or new) sponges; multiple shapes and sizes are fine
- Paint in primary colors (red, yellow, blue)
- Bowls for holding paint
- Paper plates
- Butcher paper strips, or even newspaper
What You Do:
- Help your child cut the sponges into various shapes. Ask her what shapes she would like to use as stamps. Suggest circles, squares, triangles, etc. It is tricky to do anything too intricate when cutting a sponge, unless it is very thin.
- Lay out a long piece of paper. Newspaper will also work as wrapping paper, so you can always use that in a pinch.
- Pour your red, yellow, and blue paint into separate bowls.
- Encourage your child to experiment with mixing colors on paper plates. What happens when she mixes blue and yellow? What about red and blue? If she wants to make lighter or darker shades of each color, try adding white or black paint into the mix. She’ll use these “new” colors to create the wrapping paper.
- Have your child carefully dip the bottom of her sponge into one paint color, remove excess paint, and stamp it onto the paper. She can place the stamps in any way she desires. Repeat this process until she feels she’s created the design she wants.
- After it dries, see if your child would like to use a marker to draw designs on her sponge shapes. A shape might look like a monster, so draw monster faces on it! Encourage her to embellish the stamps using her imagination.
- If it’s holiday time, she can also customize her designs. For example, for winter wrapping paper, you might cut triangle sponge stamps and have the kids decorate them with thumbprint hollyberries.
- Let the paper dry, and get wrapping!