Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Magic Pumpkin" glue project

I borrowed my little Ankle-Biter Art helpers again for a fun Fall glue project.  This is totally easy and you don't need a lot of supplies.  The degree of messiness really depends on the children...I'll be getting to that later.  ;-)

  • Pumpkin Shape: use a stencil (or free-hand) cut a pumpkin shape out of any stiff cardstock weight paper...OR...use a paper plate (this is a great substitute and it's already a similar shape).
  • Green Construction Paper (for a pumpkin stem): either pre-cut stems...OR...(if age appropriate) trace a stem shape on the green paper and have the child cut it out themselves.
  • Orange Tissue Paper: cut or torn into small-ish shapes
  • Elmer's glue
  • Orange Paint (or red & yellow paint to mix)
  • Glue Brushes: I gave my helpers small sponge brushes (in craft stores), but I used a regular brush for mixing up the glue.
  • Container (for glue): I like to re-use my plastic Thai take-out containers with lids so that any leftover glue can be saved for future projects.  Empty yogurt, butter or sour cream tubs w/ lids will work too.
  • The "Magic" ingredient: orange glitter or orange colored sand (these can be found at your local craft stores).

Magic Pumpkin Powder (a.k.a Sparkly orange sand)
I don't know where I got this super fine sparkly sand, but I've had it for YEARS and in several colors.  Until this project, the colors have been separated in sandwich bags (not exactly kid friendly).  The solution (as I'm sure you've noticed) is using an old spice shaker, but be sure you thoroughly wash & Magic Pumpkin Powder smelled an awful lot like Curry Powder.  {TIP} If, the stream of "magic" is too fast, use some tape to cover some of the shaker holes to slow the flow.

Mix your glue with the paint.  If you don't have orange paint, you can mix red & yellow paint to get an orange color (this makes a good little art lesson in color theory for the kiddos by the way :-).
Paint the pumpkin shape with the orange glue...and here's where I'm going to get back to my earlier comment about the degree of messiness and refer to my little helpers.  If you are Sam, you will paint your pumpkin with your sponge brush in an even, smooth layer.  However, if you are Sam's little sister Molly, you use your brush for the most part...BUT...make big puddles of glue, then pick up the glue container and ask (very politely) if she can just pour it onto her pumpkin.  :-)  {{{This is why you want to use a heavy weight paper}}}  Both of these methods of glue application are equally great and acceptable...and in the case of these two little friends of mine, very age appropriate.
Decorate the pumpkin shapes with the pieces of orange tissue paper.
I would like to pause here to love & acknowledge differences in personality (well...age plays a role in this case too).  When I taught pre-school, time and time again, I would be amused at how my kids' art would completely match their personalities.  This project with Sam and Molly was no different.  Sam placed his tissue pieces very deliberately one at a time and started to get a little flustered when glue accidentally fell on one of the pieces he had just put down, but we talked about how layering is an art technique and he was cool with layering a piece of paper atop of the glue mishap.  While Sam was patiently decorating his pumpkin, Molly put down the tissue by the fist full and drizzled more glue on top of her paper piles.  :-)
When the artists have decided that they are happy with the amount of tissue decoration, it's time to add the sparkly magic.
Sam shaking the magic all over his pumpkin
Conversations with children are often times more interesting & fun than conversations with adults.  Here's what we discussed when it was time for the "magic".

Sam: "Is this REAL magic or just pretend magic?"
Me: "Well, I think it's just pretend magic...BUT...this is the FIRST time I've ever used this magic pumpkin powder, so you never know!  It might turn into real magic."
Sam: "Yeah.  You never know!  It might really be magic.  What if it turned into a magic rocket ship?!"
Me: "That would be pretty amazing...and VERY surprising!"
Sam: "We would DEFINITELY have to tell the President if that happened."
Me: "Absolutely!  I think President Obama would really want to know about that."
Molly: "Who's Odama?"  :-)

Molly...yep, she poured the "magic pumpkin powder" in a steady up-side down stream until it was almost gone and then said..." you go.  I don't want to use ALL of it."  Hahahaha!
And there you have it folks...Magic Pumpkins!  The End.
Have fun & get messy!  ~ "Miss Jenna"

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