Scary monsters have always been popular with children and in this fun activity youngsters can make their own monster money box. Whether your child has a fascination for zombies, vampires or just plain old monsters, this painting activity is one that will definitely ignite their imagination and creativity. However, parents be warned - it does have the potential to be very messy.
Monsters come in all shapes and sizes so encourage your child to let his or her imagination run wild - the following suggestions are simply guidelines. Using whatever materials you have at home, see what weird and wonderful creatures manifest.
Time: 1 - 2 hours.
Age: 5-10's, Over 10's
A small box (the one I used was approximately 10cm x 10cm x 12cm)
A small cardboard tube (such as a paper towel roll that has been cut down in size)
Acrylic paints (if possible, it's nice to include some in metallic colours, although this isn't essential)
Paint brushes in various sizes
Large wobbly eyes (alternatively, you can draw your own)
Pipe cleaners (in various colours)
Colourful cardboard (corrugated cardboard adds an interesting touch, but any kind is alright)
Paddle pop sticks (if possible, ones in various colours)
Cardboard egg carton pieces or small boxes (these can be used instead of the cardboard roll or as extra appendages)
Buttons, beads and adhesive gems
An old toothbrush (to use as a paintbrush)
Decide where the money slot will be, and cut a small hole in the box. This should be done by an adult. A fun feature is if the money slot is in the monster’s mouth.
Using wide and strong masking or sticky tape, tape the bottom of the box firmly shut so that the monster will securely hold the coins or treasure inside. When you want to get them out, all you’ll need to do is undo the tape.
Paint the box with the acrylic paint. A single colour can be used or several. Metallic paint looks great!
Give your monster a cool spotty look by adding coloured dots, either with paint or pieces of round felt or coloured paper. Alternatively, an interesting effect is achieved if you dip an old toothbrush in coloured paint and flick this so it sprays over the monster. Please note, however - this technique probably won’t be suitable for very little children as paint will end up everywhere, including clothes and eyes.
Once the paint has dried, it’s time to personalise your monster with a face. Using more paint, or sticking on coloured paper or felt, add some eyes, a nose, a mouth, fangs and other personal touches. Wobbly eyes (bought from craft shops or online) are great, but very effective eyes can also be created if you draw your own on a separate piece of paper, cut them out and stick them on your monster. Adding fangs will make it look extra scary.
An interesting touch is achieved by attaching a curled piece of pipe-cleaner as a mono-brow.
Using craft glue or strong masking tape, stick several paddle-pop sticks around the monster as antennae or arms. Cut out some small circles and glue these onto the ends.
Paint a small paper roll in bright colours and leave it to dry. While it’s drying, curl up some brightly-coloured pipe-cleaners into spirals.
When the paper roll is dry, attach it to the top of the monster’s head. Using craft glue, masking tape or sticky-tape, attach the pipe-cleaners firmly inside the roll so they look like zany antennae emerging from it.
If you have coloured felt, cardboard or paper, colourful spikes, fringes, or other imaginative shapes can now be added. These can be used to create hair, ears, more antennae, legs, arms or any other appendages that are desired.
Your monster is almost finished now. To give it an extra creepy aura, perhaps you’d like to add some blue or green glitter glue.