Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kokeshi Dolls

It's been a while since I've las posted, but no worries, here comes some goodies!

This year I developed a new lesson for my 3rd graders (although this would probably be better for 5th graders). 3rd graders are learning about the arts of Asia. In studying Korea, we learned about their Kokeshi dolls. We decided to create our own...only using plastic water bottles and and paper mache plastic shopping bags for the head. Our steps:

  1. Pass out empty waterbottles. Have students cut out the top of the water bottle off.

  2. Next, pass out plastic shopping bags. About 5 for each student. Have students stuff four bags into one. Then, shape the bag into a ball and tape it to the bottle. Make sure it is secure.

  3. Next, paper mache the entire bottle.

  4. Once dry, have students paint bottle. Discuss symmetry and different faces.

  5. Finally, pass out ribbon and fabric swatches. Apply as needed.

This lesson is best with a small class. Be prepared to hot glue anything that falls off. The students LOVVEEE the finished product and I have yet to seen this lesson done anywhere else. Enjoy!


  1. Very cute! An idea: I sometimes use tennis ball containers for papier-mache "tikis" and I buy a bag of playground sand (very cheap!) and put about 1/2 cup in each container. It weighs them down and keeps them from tipping over. It just occurred to me this would probably work good for water bottles too - you could pour some in w/a funnel.
    Where do you get all the little hats?

  2. Yes! We definatly needed to weigh down our bodies. I am still learning.

    I got the hats as a donation from one of the parents. As kids were decorating their dolls, I remember I had these little hats with no use for them up until now!

  3. Loving these! They are precious. You could go all kinds of directions with this technique.