Every Art class, K-12, in my district had at least one lesson focused on East Asian cultures to prepare for Cultural Heritage Week this year. We had learned about Darumas- Japanese dolls- but I hadn't thought about how I might use it until I saw this post from Phyl at There's a Dragon in my Art Room! Her 6th grade students used plastic Easter eggs as the base for a papier mache Daruma doll, then painted. I figured I'd give it a shot with 3rd grade- they'd never used papier mache before and we don't do a ton of 3D projects due to a LARGE enrollment and limited storage. 6th graders would be able to handle this a lot better! I bought the largest Easter eggs I could find in quantity after Easter last year and even then, I think the small size was a little tricky for them. I also goofed and forgot to take newspaper to school so we had to use phonebook pages, which don't go on quite as smoothly for some reason. Despite this being a challenging project, it was good for the students to get more 3D experience in a new medium while learning a little about another culture.
To prepare the eggs, we (my student teacher and I) rolled pieces of masking tape to hold the eggs upright. We opened the eggs and poured some plaster in the bottom. The plaster worked well overall, but some students got a little carried away and shook so much that the plaster came loose! :)
You may have noticed that the Darumas only have a pupil in one eye. The owner draws or paints in one pupil as they set a goal or make a wish and don't add the other pupil until they have achieved their goal or their wish came true!