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Christmas Baubles

Christmas provides an excellent opportunity to develop the children’s art and design and creative skills by getting them to use a range of different materials and techniques to produce a selection of baubles to hang on a family Christmas tree to celebrate the festive season.

Show the class some shop bought baubles so that they can identify and discuss different ways of decorating a bauble to match specific themes and ideas. The class can practise using papier mache to mould and shape bauble shapes which can then be decorated in a range of styles. Get the children to test ways of printing shapes on the outside of a bauble using different tools. They can also investigate how to create patterns on a bauble by rolling them in paint. Help the class practise different ways of applying other materials to the outside of the baubles.

Papier Mache Balls
As preparation for creating Christmas tree baubles, the children need to make some small ball shapes using papier mache before adding any decorations. The class can wrap several layers of a papier mache around a ping ping ball. The children can alternate between layers of newspaper and white paper until they have produced a suitable sized ball to use as a Christmas tree bauble. The class need to also add a ribbon loop to the top of the ball before applying the final layer so that the bauble can be hung on the tree when it has been decorated.

Bauble Colours
Once the papier mache balls have dried the class can then practise different techniques of adding colours to the bauble shapes. Get the children to make several bauble shapes so that they try using a variety of ways of colouring the shapes. The class can either choose a single colour for the background of their bauble or they can try using a range of colours. Show the children how to roll the bauble shapes through lines of paint in a tray so that they can make multi-coloured decorations. They can also drop the bauble shapes into some water filled with powder paints to try and add different colours. The children can also practise using paint brushes to add swirls of colours to the outside of their baubles.

Printing Designs
Once the background colours of the baubles have dried then the children can try adding designs to the faces of the shapes. Get the class to practise using different tools to add printed designs to their baubles such as using toothbrushes to add textures, printing blocks made from string and the bottom faces of 3D shapes. Remind the children to test their ideas for printing shapes on some scrap paper before working on the baubles. Encourage the class to use simple shapes when decorating their baubles to avoid over-complicating their designs.

Shapes and Patterns
The children can also practise adding other materials to create raised textures and shapes on the faces of their baubles. Get the class to try dipping some string in glitter glue before sticking it to the side of a bauble in a specific shape such as a star or a tree. The children can also create raised effects on their baubles by using tiny pieces of coloured card to build up shape such as a Christmas hat or candle. Remind the class to test their ideas before working on the actual decoration.

Help the class try different ways of adding special messages to the bauble using lettering. The children can make letters of the alphabet using pieces of string which can then be glued to the faces of the baubles. The class can also try printing words using a computer program before sticking the letters to the outside of the baubles. Encourage the children to select single words to add to their baubles to avoid over-complication.

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