Easter/Spring Chick Balloons

What: Fluffy chicks made on/from a balloon.

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Kid 6’s on the right, with surprising attention to bird face detail; kid 4’s and mine on the left, with fewer ruffles.

How: Blow up and tie a yellow balloon. We had pale and gold balloons and ended up with one of each. I also had a card of yellow lace that the local fabric/craft shop was getting rid of in a $5/card sale. It took about a metre and a half of lace per balloon, cut into three pieces of varying length. Tape the lace around the balloon in layers so that the ruffles hang down. This is not as easy as it sounds. Kid 4 did a great job of concentrating but grew tired of it after three rounds of ruffles, Kid 6 liked the idea of as much ruffle as possible but really needs more Mad Stickytape Skillz so four was their limit. If you can, get the top layer of ruffle around the approximate middle of the balloon.

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If you can, do the smallest/lowest ruffles first and work upwards. It’s tricky because you want to hold the balloon upside down, which makes the lace upside down.

Then, draw a chick face on with permanent markers. I made the mistake of sending Kid 4 to raid my pen drawer for them, and they came back with all the pointy-tipped ones – and then managed to pop their balloon with one on the very last bit of drawing. There were many tears. Gentle is the order of the day, and possibly broad-tip pens! I blew and taped a replacement balloon so that they could both finish their project.

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Two more Kid 6s came and made one each. They refused yellow balloons.

Extras: This was part of a morning of Easter crafts, where we did a whole bunch of egg and chick type activities (mostly $2 kits from the supermarket or chemist). Two more Kid 6s came over as we were nearing the end, and made themselves each a balloon too – a funny-face egg and a blue chick. They were very surprised to discover that we were using permanent markers and they couldn’t change their faces once drawn – that might be an interesting variation, to use normal textas and tell stories with changing emotions on the faces.

Eggs, chicks and religion: I don’t always focus on the egg side of things, because Easter here is not at nesting time – it just happened that way this year. We’ve had conversations before about whether you see nests and eggs in trees at this time of year, at the spring equinox as well as Easter, and we might have a conversation about that later today again. As a non-Christian household I don’t go into the symbolism of rebirth at this point or discuss “the real meaning of Easter”. I stick to seasonal observations as much as I can with the kids. And today I choose to smile and skate past Kid 6’s determined pronouncements that a pet rabbit will hatch from their egg.

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