These photos are from two summers ago, if you can believe it. I was going to put this project in my book, but it ended up being one of the 22 art experiences on the cutting room floor. I am SO excited to finally share it with you now! This one was really fun, for obvious reasons. There was an element of self-control, though, that all the kids had to wrangle with. They wanted so, so badly to eat the marshmallows!! So we put some aside that they could eat at the end 🙂
I love the choices they made while working together on this project. Every choice was talked through and made by them. I just had my camera out, listening to the chatter. Scroll down for the sweetest video of them working away (and trying not to eat the marshmallows!).
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~ Big Marshmallows (and small bowls)
~ Large piece of cardboard
My instructions were to paint the marshmallows, and then glue them onto the cardboard to make a bumpy collage. I remember thinking about it a bit before the children arrived for class. Did I want to tell them, anything goes? Or should I give them a little structure? That is always a conundrum for me. Process art is really about letting the child feel free to explore the materials without any specific outcome. But we were studying collages at the time, and I wanted them to experience working with different types of materials. So I did give them those loose guidelines.
(This one wanted to eat them the whole time. It was so hard for her! She definitely smushed the marshmallows between her fingers more than anyone else. The tactile part satisfying her need to put them in her mouth.)
What amazed me the most about watching the children in action was that they planned out the collage together. One child decided that the marshmallows should be in lines. She even put dots of glue down where the marshmallows should go. After some kids left the table, one or two decided to paint lines in between. I love that it turned out to look like plaid!
Click here to see the video of the kids in action!
Believe it or not, I still have this piece in my attic! That’s one good thing about marshmallows, they are completely made of chemicals so they will never get moldy. In fact, I know there will be some people out there who will comment negatively about the use of food in art as being wasteful, but I really don’t consider marshmallows food. They are made from corn syrup and water. There is nothing nutritious about them. They are candy. I actually am very concious of not wasting food. This Easter we hollowed out our eggs (and I made quiche) because I was feeling really guilty about throwing away the hard boiled ones. I use flour to make homemade playdough and I feel more guilty about that. We use candy on our gingerbread houses. I don’t feel bad about that one. As my friend says, marshmallows are not going to solve world hunger. (You can donate here to help with that!)