November 30, 2011

Snow Man Forever

I grabbed a really cute holiday crafting magazine a while back, dreaming of my totally hand made holiday season.  My goal this year is to hand make all of my Christmas and Ayyam-i-Ha gifts, and so far it's coming along quite nicely.  But it's starting to feel like crunch time on the Christmas gifts!  Anyway, there was a tutorial for making a clay snowman with an aluminum foil base and it looked like a nice jumping off point for teaching the kids about sculpting around hollow frames.  It looked so easy.  It was not.

I demonstrated rolling aluminum foil into a large log shape for the body, two small logs for arms, and a ball for a head, and then attaching them all with toothpicks. I found it to be a bit tricky just demonstrating.  The kids found it near impossible!

When we finally had our foil bases, we started adding salt dough to the surface.  This is when it all fell apart.  Toothpicks and aluminum foil don't make for much of a base unless you have a really light touch - which the kids do not.  Their limbs were falling off all over the place and they all quickly became frustrated.  They decided to make plain old salt dough snowmen that would never ever dry all the way through.  Haven made his a dinosaur with toothpick spikes and gave it to his speech teacher.

I kept at it and soon the kids were gathered around, excited that one of us was going to make it work.  It never was as cute as the one in the tutorial, but it did resemble a snowman to some degree, so the kids thought it was fantastic.  After they went to bed, I colored in is hat and set him up beside the beautiful book, the Snowman, where the kids eat breakfast.  Haven was giddy with delight when we woke up and saw the book and the real snowman by his breakfast plate.  It was so adorable!  He ran in and got Hunter and said, "Hunter, you have to see!  The snow man is in our kitchen!  The one from the book!"  Yay! 

So the craft was a flop from the teaching perspective, and I figure I might as well blog the flops as well as the successes.  But from a breakfast cheer, book lover's perspective, it was a glowing success.  The kids love that book because there are no words and they can take turns telling the story just as they think it should be.  Now, when they tell it, they act it out with my lumpy dough snowman. 

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