CM’s home learning project for this term was transport.
I get the feeling I should stop thinking laterally where her schooling is concerned. I thought it would be a good idea for us to create a papier-mâché hot air balloon. Until I read a bit more on the topic the week before the due date, to see the focus was trams, trains, and bicycles.
But the hot air balloon was well under way so we quickly swotted up. My memories of Phileas Fogg and his 90 days around the world were quickly replaced with new knowledge that the first round the world trip in a hot air balloon took 19 days and 21 hours and 55 minutes, in 1999. New fact learned, I went back to the comfort zone of craft.
Our papier-mâché hot air balloon was made in the first with the traditional method using flour, water and newspaper. We made a more watered down version, very messy, but perfect for something which we knew we wanted to be light enough to hang from the ceiling. Our base was one part plain flour to two parts water.Our original intent was to make a hot air balloon each, but the mess put the little people off and soon I was left making sure the single balloon had enough layers.
This approach did seem much messier than in the past, but the result was perfect, so in hindsight I wish we had persevered with the mess and made three.
We left the balloon for a week to dry, I’m sure it would have been ready after about 48 hours but this was our weekend project.
Once the balloon was dried, we did the best bit – and popped the balloon. I trimmed the bottom to make it bit more even.
We then cut A4 paper into stripes, glued them using PVA – a lot less messy for CM – to create a slightly more even surface than the Papier-mâché had left us with.
We left to dry again so the fun part of painting could begin.
Again, originally CM had all kinds of visions, of strawberries dipped in chocolate, and balloons covered in flowers. It turned out her boredom threshold allowed her to paint it yellow.And my need to show effort meant I persuaded her to persevere with stripes by drawing orange lines over the balloon in a standoff. Which fortunately turned out perfectly, especially because the boys had now negotiated that as this was their original balloon the finished product would be theirs. With the balloon painted, I tempted CM to finish things off with a basket, and decided on the most simple solution, using a garden planters, lots of glue, lots of twine, and lots more glue.And it would turn out fine. Once mummy attempted to put holes in everything.
A single hole in the top of the balloon, and a strand of elastic to connect to a ceiling, so the balloon could bob wonderfully across the eye-line.
Four holes evenly placed around the base of the balloon connect with the basket. Less successfully as for love nor money could I get the stands to be the same size, and the basket to sit parallel to the balloon.