When art projects unexpectedly come out from nature which they have increasingly done in our school, the result is often delightfully, and engaging. I love using items from our environment as it promotes creativity and is totally fun! I consider the natural world as the physical setting for ART. “Natural world” need not necessarily mean the untamed jungle, for me it means my BACKYARD and NEIGHBORHOOD.
My neighbors SWEET GUM TREES have inspired us into creating a explosion of unique ideas. We have been finding new ways of converting them into unique art pieces. My next few postings and blogs will be dedicated to these beautiful and strange looking seed pods that we so dearly love.
The children, parents and I have been amazed at what we have been able to do with all of them. I hope that you are able to bring this in your classrooms…your children will LOVE making CANDIED GUMBALLS!
How to Make Candied Gumballs.
Preparing Gumballs- Brush dirt off and make sure gumballs are completely dry. Poke a toothpick in it as it will make it easier to grip and dry. You might want to wear some garden gloves for this.
Select paint colors- You can use any kind of container; we choose a muffin pan because it was wide and deep enough to fit one gumball. Encourage the children to squeeze or scoop paint into the different compartments; we used different shades of paint to create a marble effect.
It is best to stir very gently with a tooth pick as not to mix the colors all together. For our first project we choose to use Acrylic paints.
Arrange Drying Zone- Have your drying zone close by because your paints are surely going to be dripping all over. A Styrofoam piece worked really great for us because the children were able to poke the gumballs into the foam for drying.
Dipping Gumballs- Encourage a child to pick a gumball and dip it into the paint without swirling. Repeat the process until it has been covered with the desired amount and colors.
Paints will eventually mix, please try not to stir.
Drying Gumballs- Poke the toothpick holding the gumball into the Styrofoam and let paint drip dry.
Add Glitter- If the children want to add a few creative touches, you can gather up different colors of glitter for them to sprinkle. Once again, imagination is key; your children might come up with some other way to add pizzas to the gumballs.