Lately, my youngest has been really into dinosaurs. Several weeks ago, we made some of these papier-mâché dinosaur eggs, put them in a safe place to dry, and promptly forgot about them. Then the other day, my sister and nephews and niece came over to play. My kids pulled out these eggs and they all set to work cracking them open with hammers (yes, they were that hard).
Since they had so much fun both making and breaking them, I thought I would share this easy DIY with you all.
First, gather your supplies. You will need:
- Small dinosaurs (or other animals if you want! Birds, alligators & snakes all hatch from eggs!)- ours came from Target and cost $6 for a bucket of 60, but I've seen smaller packages at the dollar store for, well, a dollar
- Small balloons: we used water balloons, which are pretty much the perfect size and shape
- Paper (drawing paper, newspaper, whatever you have around the house), cut into strips about half an inch wide (ours were wider, about an inch, and didn't work as well for the small size of the balloons)
- All- purpose flour
- Cool water
- A whisk & bowl for mixing papier-mâché
- Something to stand your eggs on while working/drying (we used small paper cups)
- A smock for your kiddo(s) and something to cover your table (this papier-mâché is made of just flour and water, so it washes out easily when wet, but takes a lot more effort to clean when it dries).
- Paint and brushes to decorate your eggs
Once you have all your supplies gathered, start by putting your dinos (animals) in your balloons. This is the hardest part, and you have to be pretty careful so the balloons don't break, but you want to stretch an empty balloon as far as you can, stick your dinosaur in there and then blow up the balloon and tie it. Sometimes it helps to have two pairs of hands, one to stretch the balloon and one to put the dino in.
When your balloons are ready, it's time to make your papier-mâché! My favorite way to make papier-mâché is by mixing flour and water in a 1.5:1 ratio, and whisking until smooth. You want it to be a little bit thick, so if you think it's too thin, just whisk in a little more flour. You can also use plaster of Paris (in which case, just follow the directions on the box), but this way is less expensive and I ALWAYS have the ingredients on hand!
Now you can make your eggs! Put your blown-up balloons top-down on whatever you chose to use as a stand while you're working. Dip your strips of paper into the flour-water mixture. Make sure they are well-coated and then lay them over the balloon, making sure to smooth them out. Short strips work better on the smaller balloons, so you may need to tear your strios in half to get them smooth. Cover the entire balloon, except the top, where it is tied off. This is where you will pop the balloon later. I typically do two layers.
Set your eggs somewhere out of the way to dry (if your weather is nice, you can set them outside in a sunny place to help speed the process along), preferrably for 24 hours. This will ensure that your eggs are dry all the way through. Once the eggs are completely dry, go ahead and paint them! And when you're ready, you can crack them open and let the dinosaurs "hatch"!