Animal Masks

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Students can create wild and wonderful animal masks using balloons and paper mache.

By Carla Fontenot [Carla is a 3rd grade teacher at King’s West in Bremerton, Washington.]


Students will create a 3-D animal or mask, paying close attention to details such as; color, shape, size, texture and facial features.

Students should demonstrate a willingness to learn about other cultures by positively contributing to the discussion at least twice during the lesson.

What You Need:

  • balloons
  • masking tape
  • newspaper cut into strips
  • white glue
  • water
  • acrylic paint (several colors)
  • paint brushes
  • large container for mixture
  • small containers for paint
  • craft knife or scissors (adult assistance required)

What You Do:

  1. Students blow up balloons.
  2. Mix half glue and half water mixture into container.
  3. Student dips newspaper strips into mixture, wiping any extra off into the container with index finger and thumb.
  4. Student lays strips onto the balloon, covering the balloon with at least two layers.
  5. Hang over newspaper to dry.
  6. Students may need to add another layer to balloon and repeat the drying process.
  7. When dry, teacher needs to cut the balloon in half with an exacto knife.
  8. Student chooses one half (2 students can share one balloon).
  9. Using masking tape and newspaper, student builds up eyes, ears, nose, and other features.
  10. Cover with another layer of strips covered with glue mixture.
  11. Let dry.
  12. Student is ready to paint. Cover entire mask with one base color.
  13. Let dry.
  14. Paint details.
  15. The animal mask is ready to display in the hall with a report or essay.

Helpful Information:

National Geographic Animals for Kids

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