We did a lickety-split Earth Day art project today. This is a quick, fun project for all ages. It couldn’t be easier and chances are pretty good you have these items on hand.
paper coffee filters
spray bottle with water
Using washable marker pens in blues and greens, color your coffee filter with continents and oceans. Although it can be fun to think about the shapes of the Earth’s real continents and try to draw them accurately, this isn’t at all important. You just want to create a “blue-green marble,” like our planet as seen from outer space.
Marker ink seeps quickly into the coffee filter, which is meant to absorb moisture. You don’t even have to worry about the white space in between marker pen strokes.
When you are satisfied with your continents and oceans, lay your coffee filter down flat on your table surface and spray it lightly with water from the spray bottle.
The ink will begin to run together and spread, like a watercolor painting.
I recommend that you don’t spray too much water on the earth; if you do, the colors may get very mixed and muddy. Stop while you’re ahead, as soon as the earth is saturated. This is difficult for children, because spraying is so much fun! My kids kept picking up their earth. I think this contributed to their colors mixing so much.
Leave your wet earth on the table top to dry. We did ours outside and they were dry within 20 minutes or so. As they dry, they may try to blow away.
As soon as your earths are dry, they can be taped up in a window. If they are too wrinkly for your taste, gently iron them on medium heat (and without any water spray or steam). Of course, you may wish to make a whole solar system, or perhaps yet-to-be discovered planets of your children’s own invention. Have fun!