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If you’ve ever planned a birthday party for the preschool or toddler crowd, it’s never easy choosing a craft activity. Most seem too hard. Too quick. Or too messy. Truth is that this can be a tough group to entertain.
If you’re looking for a creative amusement to keep preschoolers busy no matter the occasion, this paper mache letters craft is perfect. You can use it as a birthday party activity, some play date fun or just a relaxing craft afternoon.
The finished letters turn out as colorful masterpieces no matter the child’s art ability. And if you choose the right decorating supplies, you can keep the mess to a minimum.
One of the delightful things about being a preschooler is that they love letters. All of the letters. In our family, no one is partial to any particular one.
This is why I hosted an ABC birthday party for my little’s preschool friends. It was a great theme to celebrate her love of the alphabet (and rainbows). And these paper mache letters were a wonderful craft to keep our little guests busy.
They also make a wonderful project to take home. Our guests reported displaying them in their rooms and play spaces. And it’s a great reminder of the first letter of their name – an important skill for the preschool age group.
If you choose to make these paper mache letters at a birthday party, be sure to plan activity for the beginning of the party. Paper mache letters take time to dry. By making them first, you can leave time to let the decorations set.
Also, depending on your celebration space, you might be sharing the craft table with eating time. Planning to do the craft first gives you a chance to clean up the craft area and set the table for food. Nobody likes glitter glue in their cake frosting!
As you start to organize your letter decorating supplies, remember that these are all just suggestions. Little kids don’t need a million options for decorating. Some will just happily color their paper mache letter with crayons or markers.
You Will Need:
Paper Mache Letters (affiliate)
Decorating Supplies (affiliates): Pom Poms, Pipe Cleaners, Felt Stickers, Gem Stones, Pony Beads, Colorful Buttons and anything else creative that you can think of
Crayons or Markers (washable is key)
Glitter Glue (affiliate) (optional)
Assortment of Snack Cups (affiliate), Muffin Tins or Paper Cups for organizing the Craft Supplies
1. Set up your craft supplies. In each snack cup or muffin tin space, place a craft material. Pipe cleaners are best organized in a taller paper cup. Place an assortment of crayons and markers in a plastic tub or cup.
Spread the craft supplies along the entire table space – not just clumped in the middle. You want to make sure that each child has easy access to a variety of supplies.
2. Give each child a paper mache letter (affiliate). You can use the letter of their first name or their favorite letter.
3. First, let the children color the paper mache letters. They can draw pictures, make a pattern (such as polka dots or stripes) or make squiggles. You can also try painting the letters using acrylic paint. Let them dry completely, though, before adding more decorations.
4. Then, decorate their letters with the rest of the decorations – pom poms, pipe cleaners, buttons, pony beads, felt stickers, etc. – using white glue.
The pipe cleaners work best when laid flat. The kids enjoyed twisting them into different shapes and gluing them on. Since pipe cleaners are long, you can also cut them in half so they are easier for the kids to use.
5. If desired, glitter glue is really fun to add at the end. The kids used it to make squiggles, dots and shimmery streaks. This supply does take longer to dry, so if you use it, make sure that there is plenty of time to set.
6. After the kids have finished decorating their paper mache letters, let them dry on a flat surface. At the end of the party, guests can take home their letters. Plan that the letters might still be a little wet. Guests can hold them or slip them into a plastic bag for easy transport home.
These paper mache letters were a perfect party craft for our preschoolers. It was so much fun watching the kids get creative with their decorating.
The paper mache letters are also fun to display after they are dry. Showcase in your child’s room, a play space or book nook. It’s a wonderful and colorful addition to your child’s decor.
I also enjoyed making these cereal paper mache letters for our pancakes party. There are so many creative things you can do with this simple craft supply.
Looking for other ABC birthday party ideas? Check out these fun ABC party ideas that I share from my little’s ABC birthday. This theme is perfect for a toddler or preschool birthday party. It’s easy to put together and guests are sure to enjoy celebrating the alphabet together. And if you need some designs to help make your celebration even more special, you can find our ABC birthday designs in our shop here.