The easiest paper mache is made with newspaper strips and either, flour, water, and peppermint oil, or liquid starch. If using flour, add enough water to white flour to make a thin paste, and add a little peppermint oil for scent.
Tie yarn around the balloon ends ahead of time. Instruct your students to dip strips of newspaper into the paste, gently run the strip between their fingers to remove excess paste, and lay flat on the balloon. This is repeated until the balloon is covered with a good layer of strips. The balloon must be set aside to dry, at least overnight.
If you choose to use styrofoam balls instead of balloons, you will need to insert a hook in the ball from which to hang from the ceiling with string.
After the paper mache planets are dry, paint them each different colors that represent how we see them. Suggestions:
Mercury: Red on one side, black on the other.
Venus: Perhaps a light greenish-yellow, or very light brown.
Earth: Blue and green with white poles.
Jupiter: Swirls of browns and reds.
Saturn: Pink and light blue or beige. Remember she has rings.
Uranus: Light blue.
Neptune: The same or very slightly darker than Uranus.
After the planets are dry, attach Saturn's rings (below) and hang from your ceiling, in correct order from the painted sun to Pluto.