Paper Tissue Mache


You will need

Coloured or white tissue paper

Paper mache glue

1 balloon

1 cup

1 tray

(I have made glue out of flour, but it can end up reeking and not drying properly, and your kids will never go near it again!

If you have a good recipe, awesome, but I personally would buy the paper mache powder or a ready made kid friendly glue.)



Rip up the tissue paper and place in a small open box or container.

Blow up your balloon, tie it, and place on top of your cup.  You may want to sticky tape it gently in place if it moves about too much.

Put a small amount of glue into a reusable container.

Put your balloon, papers and glue onto a tray in case of any spills or mishaps!

Cover the top of your balloon with glue and gently place tissue paper on top.  Spread glue over your tissue paper

Continue to add tissue paper and glue to cover your balloon, overlapping and crisscross to strengthen.

I like to do 3 to 4 layers of tissue paper to make it nice and strong.

Let your balloon dry at least 24 hours.  Pop your balloon gently.  I would even consider doing this after you have decorated and painted your balloon.

Now for the fun!


Teaching Points

You can also add ears and a nose and make your balloon into an animal and incorporate this activity with a research project on an animal of choice.

This activity can be used to create a character in a story book to support literacy learning.  Some children I have done this with have made a pig, a dog, a penguin, a panda, even a dinosaur.  It is up to you!

This shape would be perfect for making a sun, moon or planets.   The size of the balloons can be changed to match the size of the planets.

Use this activity to make a piñata and research the history behind piñatas.

Add a little carry basket to the bottom of your balloon to make a hot air balloon.  This can then be linked to heat and gasses, hot air rising, air expansion and compression.  What are some technologies that use these principles?

Make a lantern – Cut off the end of a paper roll and make 4 small cuts on the quarter to make a small stand.  Insert a battery operated candle.  Research what is the significance of lanterns in different cultures.

Add flippers and fins to make a fish.  Use this activity with a picture book on fish to support literacy.


For grief and loss

This is a great sensory activity to use which children can easily have a good product at the end.

Some children may not like the feel of the glue, so may need support in finishing their balloon.  I have had older children wear gloves, but this doesn’t work for smaller children as the gloves are too big.

I have had children make an animal model in memory of their pet that had died.  This will only work well if the end product looks good and the child likes it.  If the child is unhappy with the way it looks, the balloon can be transformed into something else.

Children can relax while doing this activity and it is an excellent way to help build rapport and to build trust.


Links to Early Years Framework – Learning Outcomes for Children Birth to 5 Years

Outcome 4 – Children are confident and involved learners

Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating


Links to the Australian Curriculum – Version 8.2

Visual Arts


Foundation to Year 2 Content Descriptions

Use and experiment with different materials techniques, technologies and processes to make artworks (ACAVAM107)


For more information regarding childhood grief and loss, please visit