I thought this would be fun, but I didn't realize how fun. The kids seriously LOVED this project! It was easy yet engaging and it used all kinds of odds and ends (which I liked). First, I mixed up a batch of plaster of paris — left over from sandcasting at the beach — which I then poured into styrofoam plates — left over our styrofoam printing attempt. In the center of the art table were little bowls full of beads, buttons, pasta shapes, googly eyes, rocks, shells, and popsicle sticks.
The kids each placed, arranged, poked, poured, drew with, and set the various items in the plaster while it was still wet. It was a bit like our sandcasting, although we set the objects on top of the plaster instead of under and there was a lot more overall involvement.
They slip out of the styrofoam plates easily once dry. I'm not sure about the longevity of the pieces — one of Maia's cracked while drying although a couple of others in the studio did not. Maybe it has something to do with how I mixed that particular batch of plaster of paris (we went through a couple) or maybe it's just about how much "stuff" was added. Don't know. But as such an awesome process-oriented activity I'm not going to worry too much about how they hold up over time. It's still well worth doing.
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