how would you change the world? a watercolor project for kids

Lately, at four and a half, Ethan is really into asking these big, philosophical questions. Sometimes I'm not ready for them. Especially at 3 a.m. when he wanders into my room wondering about the Trojan War, or inquiring if we can work together to end homelessness. Mostly, though, I'm captivated by this age and the wonder and intellect that his little brain can conjure up at any given moment. There has been such a burst between four and four and a half and I am loving just talking to him. (Which is good, because he never actually shuts up.)

Anyway, we made this watercolor world project. As we worked (which took two days due to the time our world took to dry), Ethan had time to ponder the question: how would you change the world? Given his usual oddly mature level of insight, I was interested to hear what he had to say. His actual response, of course, had me cracking up:

Kids. They say the darndest (and truest) things.

Here's a little more detail into this fun little craft, which looks absolutely gorgeous when hanging on the wall -- especially near a window.

You'll need:
- White paper cut into a circular shape
- Construction paper
- Salt
- White glue
- Liquid watercolors
- Dropper

First things first: get your liquid watercolors ready. Blue and green, of course.

Next, trace your child's hand onto construction paper (and cut out).

Once the traced handprint is cut out, glue it onto the round, white sheet of paper. Even though the watercolors will soak through, the paper will lap it up enough to keep the handprint a lighter shade of blue and green than the rest of the world.

Using droppers is always fun, so Ethan had a blast. He just kept dropping sploshes of green and blue until the little round Earth was completely soaked through. (It needed to dry overnight.)

Once the Earth was dry, peel off the traced handprint. Using white glue, outline the handprint and then drop salt along the glue. (Ethan had fun with this. Some of the salt got elsewhere. Things are more fun when they aren't perfect, right?)

My favorite part, of course, is gluing on the world and finally getting to hear the answer to the "how would you change the world?" question. This one was a beautiful addition to our dining room wall -- and it sparkles so beautifully when the sun hits it.

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