I'm a huge fan of imaginary play. So when my son entered the car obsession years, I made him something a piece of dress up he could get into—a racing helmet. I modeled it after the 60s racing helmets because I thought they were cool. Plus, the shape of those were good for a paper mache project.
I will warn you that this particular craft, while super easy, is time consuming. You'll need several days to finish it because of the drying times involved (layers of paper mache and paint). But it's inexpensive and in the end kids will have a fantastic prop for pretend play. And of course, cute photo ops.
Blow up a balloon to the circumfrence of your child's head. It's okay to eyeball it. Just make sure it's not too small.
Place the balloon in a small bowl.
Next make the paper mache mix. There's debate about what works best. I'm a glue gal myself so I suggest going with a 2:1 ratio—two parts white glue to one part water. However, between you and me, I've been known to stretch out the glue and go 1:1. I know, I'm a wild woman! It is messier so if you do go that route, lay down lots and lots of newspaper.
Now that the mix is made, the real fun begins. Tear your newspaper into strips.
Dip the strips in the mache mix and lay them on the balloon. Make sure you smooth the paper down as you go.
Let it dry for a day. Then add a second layer.
After the paper mache has dried, pop the balloon and discard it.
Take a sturdy pair of scissors and cut into the paper mache to shape the helmet.
All that's left to do now is paint. Keep it classic with racing stripes or go crazy with stars, circles or whatever makes you happy.