Next time you receive a package in the mail, don’t toss the bubble wrap! With a little imagination, you and your kids can use it to create adorable Bubble Bugs, Bubble Dot Art, Bubble Jellyfish, and more.
Bubble wrap has so much tactile appeal, with a bumpy, puffy, squishy texture that makes it a pleasure to work with. Make sure you have more bubble wrap than you think you’ll need—nobody can resist popping it just for fun! Once that’s out of everyone’s system, you can start creating.
This is a fun project when you want to keep the mess to a minimum. You just need bubble wrap, tape, colorful chenille stems, and optional googly eyes. We started with a piece of bubble wrap about 10 inches long, but any size from 6 to 12 inches will work well.
Have your child create the bug’s body by rolling the bubble wrap tightly until it’s about 1 inch in circumference.
Secure with several pieces of clear tape.
For the antennae, have your child wrap a chenille stem around the body, then twist once or twice to secure. Create a cute curl at the end of each antenna by wrapping it around a pencil.
In a similar fashion, have your child wrap and twist the legs onto the body. Optional feet can be created by bending the ends of each stem into a circle. Since this is a fantasy bug, it can have lots of legs, which is great, because all the wrapping, twisting, and bending of the stems helps develop your child’s fine motor skills!
Create a silly, twisty tongue by curling a pink or red chenille stem around a pencil; then simply push it into the slim center opening of the body.
Attach googly eyes, or draw them on with a marker, and you’ve got a sturdy 3-D bubble bug that’s fun to play with!
Lots and Lots of Dots
Transform an ordinary line drawing into a spectacular spotted work of art! Simply cut a small square of bubble wrap; then secure it tightly to the end of a toilet paper tube using an elastic or rubber band. This makes a nice, chunky tool that’s easy for small hands to grip.
Keep things neat by pouring a thin layer of paint into a shallow container. (We used the lid of a coffee can.) Have your child dip the bubble-wrapped tube into the paint and then press onto the drawing to create a patch of dots. (We drew a butterfly, but you can draw a leopard, ladybug, sunflower, clown, lizard, snake, fish, or anything that has spots, dots or scales!)
Best of all, there’s no need to stay inside the lines. As long as you cover your work surface with newspaper, your child can stamp anywhere on the paper.
After the paint dries you (or your child) can cut out the shape out for a neat and colorful finished piece of art.
Take things to the next level by stamping on the backs and sides of paper bowls. (You want the kind of bowls that are printed only on the inside, and uncoated on the back.)
We used yellow paint to stamp dots on the turtle, let it dry, then added green dots for a beautiful dappled effect.
For the head, legs and tail, we drew simple shapes on green paper, cut them out, and taped them to the inside of the bowl. Our go-to googly eyes completed the look!
The jellyfish has a few extra steps, but they’re well worth it!
First we stamped pink dots onto the bowl.
We let it dry, then added blue dots.
We created the whimsical face with marker and googly eyes.
To make the tentacles, you or your child can cut the bubble wrap in roughly one inch strips. We made 10 strips, each 16 inches long. Note the bubble wrap is very easy to cut and you don’t need to be precise.
Turn the bowl over and start taping the strips to the inside. We criss-crossed 2 strips right in the middle to create an inner layer of 4 short tentacles. Then we taped the rest of the tentacles along the edge.
Flip the bowl over and you have a jellyfish with lots of delicate-looking tentacles. The bubbles even make it look like the tentacles have “suckers” on them!
You can tape an elastic string to the top so your child can jiggle the jellyfish and make it “swim” in the air.
Have fun with these bubble wrap techniques and be sure to share photos of your creations with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is another art project you can have fun with: http://blog.learningresources.com/art-projects-for-little-ones/.
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