How to make Balloon Painting Animal Art & “River Rose & The Magical Lullaby”

River Rose and the magical lullaby book, balloons and animal art

A Musical Book & Balloon Painting Animal Art!

After reading Kelly Clarkson’s “River Rose and the Magical Lullaby” we decided to create balloon painting art! We used balloons to make zoo animal prints. I’m excited to walk you through how we made this fun balloon painting art, so let’s get started…

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Summary of “River Rose & the Magical Lullaby”

River Rose and the Magical Lullaby” written by Kelly Clarkson and illustrated by Laura Hughes is a musical book about a girl named River Rose who loves animals. Fun Fact: River Rose in real life is Kelly Clarkson’s daughter, and this book was inspired by her. Kelly Clarkson (if you don’t already know) is a Grammy Award-winning artist and now a children’s book author.

In this book River Rose is very excited to be going to the zoo the next day. Her mom sings her a lullaby; which is found on the included CD, and she drifts off to sleep. Once asleep, she begins to dream of a handful of magical balloons that help her and her little dog Joplin fly through the air. Of course, she lands in the zoo; and this is where her journey truly begins. This is such a sweet book of zoo animal encounters, fantastic illustrations and beautiful music. Definitely worth a read/listen.

How We Made Balloon Painting Animal Art…

red balloon with paintbrush painting tiger stripes on it

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. So, for this activity my daughter and I gathered all of the necessary materials. This was our first time painting with balloons. To be honest, we weren’t sure what to expect.

Tiger stripe balloon painting print

Our initial idea for our balloon painting animal art was to make animal prints by first painting tiger stripes onto the balloon, then stamping the balloon on paper. This was very simple and worked really well. We loved the texture and feeling of the brush on the balloon, watching it resist the paint, and how it somehow came out looking like tiger fur just from smooshing the balloon onto the paper! 🙂 By the way, we found out you can really keep painting on the same balloon, just give it a little wipe with a damp cloth or baby wipe in between paintings. The balloon resists the paint so its very easily wipeable.

balloon painting animal art elephant butt

It worked so well, we decided to take it up a notch. Let me mention (even though I’m pretty certain you won’t believe me lol) I am not an artist. Don’t get me wrong, I am good at photography, have a history of perfectionism and like things organized so it can appear that I must be good at art. But I can assure you, I am still an amateur at best when it comes to painting or drawing. But I love it and thats what really counts.

Elephant butt balloon prints next to page in story with elephants

Actually, I was raised to believe that being an artist, knowing how to draw or paint, etc… was either a skill you had or didn’t have. I was placed on the latter list and sadly was under the impression that even if I practiced, I would never be great at it, as I just didn’t have “it”. But guess what?!? That is not true! It never was. :O

Have you heard of Growth Mindset?

I’m sure at some point I’ll write a post about it, but for now (especially since I’m a bit off topic, lol) I’ll summarize what I’ve learned so far…

There is “fixed mindset” is a belief that things either are or aren’t. I was born with a talent or I wasn’t. I’m good at this or I’m not. However, on the other hand there is “growth mindset” the belief that everything is workable and changeable. Progress is made with practice. You can learn new things at any age. You can get better at any skill if you put time and effort into it.

balloon painting animal art penguin

I was taught fixed mindset. But now I’m working on having a flexible growth mindset outlook on life. You might be wondering what this has to do with balloon painting animal art? Lol. Well, its important to remember a few things…to not compare your artwork to anyone else’s, to enjoy the process and not worry so much about the product and most importantly, to believe in yourself and if you want to be a better artist just work on it.

Lion print on white paper

I mention that I’m not much of an artist; not to put myself down, but to let you know you do not need incredible artistic abilities to do anything I’m suggesting on this blog. If I can do it, you can do it 😉

How did we make the balloon prints look like animals?

balloon painting animal art penguin

So like I was saying, we took it up a notch. We started painting actual animals (rather than just their pattern) found in the book onto the balloon. Making penguins, lions and elephant butts got a lot of laughs from my daughter of course lol. We tried a side view of an elephant and they (yes we tried several times) were unrecognizable. We experimented and tried a whole bunch of ideas. That was the best part. Trying it together. Taking turns painting on the balloons. Learning from each other. Bonding.

Wait?!? Am I Supposed To Be Making This Too?

I highly recommend getting hands on and doing art projects with your child. If you’d rather not, thats okay too, but please do not correct anything they do. If you want the art to look a certain way – make your own.

Penguin prints next to page in story showing penguins

Especially if your child is little, its okay if it doesn’t exactly look like an animal, or resemble anything at all really, lol. Its a process. They are learning. They will learn more through trial and error than if you correct them or do it for them. All they will learn if you “help” is that they didn’t do a good enough job on their own or they can’t do it; not exactly the message you want to give your kid. Am I right?!?

Lion, tiger and bear prints next to page in story showing lions, tigers and bears.

Believe me, I know it can be really challenging to let them make “mistakes”. Try doing the project along side them. It will allow you to focus on your own work, give them appropriate modeling of how to use the materials, and show them that you like art too! A lot of what I talk about in “What about the Sensory Mess?” applies to Art projects as well, you might wanna check it out! I love how each animal print came out with a textured appearance. The tiger print somehow looks like fur, its so cool! I would suggest Balloon Painting Animal Art if you’re looking for an interesting art activity to explore and connect with your child. If you’re looking to take your balloon painting to the next level, check out our Confetti Pop Painting Art.

Materials We Used

  1. “River Rose and the Magical Lullaby” by Kelly Clarkson (from the library or buy it here)
  2. Balloons
  3. Paintbrush
  4. Paint
  5. Bowls (to hold paint)
  6. Paper
  7. Tray (to keep the table from getting messy)
  8. Scissors (to cut the design out – optional)
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make Balloon Painting Art?

  1. Get a balloon for each person.
  2. Blow up the balloon as big as you want the balloon prints to be.
  3. Squeeze the paint colors you’ve chosen onto a dish/bowl.
  4. Get a paintbrush for each color.
  5. Have a damp cloth or baby wipe on hand to wipe the paint off the balloon in between prints.
  6. Lay the white cardstock paper on the tray.
  7. Pick up a balloon.
  8. Decide what kind of design you want.
  9. Paint a design onto the balloon.
  10. Hold the balloon over the white paper in the desired location.
  11. Press the balloon onto the paper in a stamping motion and lift.
  12. The design will be printed onto the paper.
  13. If you want to make more of the same design; simply add more of each paint color on top of the faded design on the balloon (no need to wipe).
  14. If you want to make a different design print; wipe the balloon clean with the damp cloth or baby wipe.
  15. You can make as many designs and prints as you like using the same balloon.
  16. Have fun and experiment.
    Remember what painter Bob Ross used to say,
    “We don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents”.
  17. Allow time to dry.
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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