Dorsi is a freelance writer/researcher in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also a photographer, art educator, and artist.
Globe Art Project for Earth Day
Working on a globe art project with children is not only a good art lesson idea for kids, but it is also a good way to teach your children about geography, family, cultures, and history. It also gives children a good sense of the size of the world they live in.
As an artist and children's art teacher, art project ideas like this can be one of the best ways to help your children learn about the world they live in through hands-on learning. This project is also a good way for children to learn about how climate change is affecting the earth through the use of visuals that they create themselves.
By having them create their own globe of the Earth, it can also help teach them to make responsible decisions for the world they inhabit.This is also a great project for Earth Day or can be done singly with your children or in a classroom setting. It is a messy project but an extremely satisfying one.
How to Make the No-Cook Paper Mache Paste
The no cook paper mache glue is a good choice for younger kids. When I made the tissue paper art globe with my grandson, we used the no-cook paper mache glue. He enjoyed putting his hands in the glue and putting the wet paper strips on the balloon.
The no-cook paper mache glue is made by mixing 1 part flour to 2 parts flour. The consistency should be that of a thick glue, slightly runny and not too pasty. You can also add more water to the flour if needed. Mix well, so there are no lumps in the mixture.
Tissue Paper-Mache Globe Art Project
We all remember doing those fun paper mache projects in elementary school using balloons. This is a messy project as I said before but one that children 4 and up will enjoy doing with you. This project can be done in 1-2 days, depending on which globe art mediums you use.
In These Lessons Children Will Learn About:
- The art process of paper mache.
- The world that they live in.
- The basics of geography.
- New words (e.g., continent, ocean, etc.).
- How to use fine motor skills.
- Following steps in order.
- Different cultures.
- Climate change and where it is affecting the earth (e.g., Antarctica)
- Time and space (point out to them the time zone differences between regions)
Supplies Needed for a Basic Globe Done With Tissue:
- Paper: A round balloon (or a punching balloon)
- Flour and water glue
- A container for mixing the glue (plastic containers or cups work well)
- A spoon or stick to stir the glue
- Blue and green tissue paper, cut up into small squares (1''-3" squares, depending on the size of your balloon)
- Paint brushes
- Have a map or globe of the world close by for reference. Make a paste of 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water. (For classes several cups will be needed.) This flour paste will be used as a glue for the newspaper.
- After the paste is mixed, pour it into a pot and heat it on medium heat on a stove. Pour in 4 more cups of water slowly and then simmer the paste for 2-4 minutes, stirring constantly. When done turn off the heat and allow the paste to cool completely before using it.
- After blowing up your balloon, layer on a few layers of newspaper pieces using the flour/water mixture (1" - 1 1/2" strips of newspaper.) Children will enjoy helping rip the newspaper.
- While the surface is still wet, gently pat on the colored pieces of the tissue paper onto the newspaper coat (use your globe map for the layout of your continents and oceans)
- Let dry overnight.
- After drying, you can either install a small hook with a sticky back for hanging at the top or make two holes next to each other through the top of the globe and hang with string or fishing line from the ceiling.
- This tissue paper-mache globe is a perfect project for younger children. Step-by-step instructions with photos are below.
Photos of Each Step of the Process
Paper Mache Globe With Raised Areas (Topographic)
Globes with raised areas for the mountains, hills, etc. can be added to create an even more 3-dimensional look to the globe. Raised areas should be done before applying any tissue or paint to the globe.
- For older children, follow the steps above but add more layers of the newspaper (in smaller pieces) to areas where there are mountains. This will take longer to dry but will make the globe look more dimensional and be an added geography lesson for the kids. Mountains, volcanoes, and large lakes can be added at this point using the layered newspaper. Brainstorm with them for ideas on what they would like to see on their globe.
- Let dry overnight.
- The globe can then be layered with the tissue paper or painted with acrylic paints (instructions for that below)
Questions about your art experiences
Painting the Globe With Acrylic Paint
The same steps are used for creating a globe out of paper mache above. Instead of using green and blue tissue paper, however, the children can paint on the continents and ocean shapes using grass green and ocean blue acrylic paint.
- Make your paper-mache globe and let it dry overnight.
- Paint the entire globe ocean blue then let the blue paint dry thoroughly. For younger children, an adult should make the outline for the shapes of the continents using a marker or soft pencil.
- Then let the children fill in the continent shapes with green acrylic paint. Older children can look at the map and do this step themselves (some will need help though with the pattern.)
- Children can also add some brown or beige acrylic paint for hills and desert areas if they want.
- Using acrylic paint also makes it easier if you are going to have the children write the continents and ocean names on the globe at the end of the project.
- Instructions for adding the countries names below.
Globe Art Project With Countries and Details
For older children, filling in the continents details can be an added lesson in geography, time and space. Details should be added to globes done with the acrylic paint only (the tissue paper globe will be harder to draw on)
- Have the children outline the shapes of each country will a light marker or soft pencil (make sure it's light so in case they make a mistake.) After they are done have them write the countries names, continents, oceans, volcanoes and any other feature they have added to their globe.
- This step can be done with a fine tip Sharpie (the names done in Sharpies will last indefinitely—water based markers will smear)
- If you would like to use continent shapes made from printed paper you can also print out free globe templates on the Internet for your globe art project instead of drawing on the shapes yourself.
- These shapes can be applied to your already made paper mache globe.
Cool Globes & Ideas for a Cooler Planet
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on August 15, 2012:
myownlife) Thank you so much!
Seeker) Thanks...this was a fun project with my grandson although he is a little young to really appreciate all the aspects of it. It will be something he will hopefully have for years to come though! Your nephews and nieces would probably love doing it too!!
Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on August 09, 2012:
Oh what a great hub and a smashing idea for kids! Anytime I see paper mache or use it, it takes me back to primary school and the fun things we use to make with the teacher. It is a great way to learn as well for kids, and although I'm no artist, my nieces and nephews don't seem to mind and just enjoy the day anyway. I hadn't thought about making an earth globe - I love this idea and will keep it in mind for the next visit of the kids.
Lovely and interesting hub + voted up!
myownlife from london on August 09, 2012:
Beautifully projected amazing idea.
Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on August 07, 2012:
Prairieprincess) Thank you so much my friend. I did the tissue paper globe with my 3 year old grandson and he really enjoyed it. He was a little too young for it but he sure enjoyed putting the paper mache paste and paper on the globe! One thing I learned is never turn your back on a 3 year old that has access to paper mache glue - as I was finishing the globe up I took my eyes off of him for a few minutes and when I turned around he had painted the paste mix all over his chest, his legs and his arms!!
Sharilee Swaity from Canada on August 07, 2012:
Dorsi, what an amazing hub! I absolutely love this idea, and the way it incorporates the different subject areas so well. It's also great for kinesthetic learners, because they can "touch" the regions of the world. So impressed with this hub. Sharing, voting up and more!