Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Unplugged - "Plastic"

Unplug Your Kids is a blog written by the parent in a home without a TV, video games, and loud toys - woo hoo! Of course I love to pop in and see the discoveries and craftiness that goes on in
their home in an unplugged way - I am always looking for inspiration. For the first time it registered to me that every week there is a new Unplugged Challenge. The challenge is open ended and leaves room for you and your child to explore together - of course in an unplugged can even participate sans kiddos - just create!

Last week I read through the previous weeks posts and thought maybe this would be the week
LittleA and I would join the fun. Our first challenge was the PLASTIC challenge. When I told LittleA about the challenge she thought "maybe we could make a horse out of plastic or something". I should have gone the route of digging through the recycling to see what plastic we could refashion. Instead my mind wondered to a book we had picked up the week before at the library book sale for fifty cents. When I saw The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions it reminded me of the amazing books written by MaryAnn F. Kohl - about how art is the process of creating as opposed to the creation of an end product (which you can check out at her publishing website and here is also a great interview with her and the artful parent) so of course I grabbed it!

While thumbing through I came across a recipe called Plastic Dough. LittleA and I were excited to test it out. Let me just say that moment was nearly the highlight of our creative endeavor.

The ingredients assembled:
  • Glue
  • Corn Starch
  • Flour
  • Food Coloring

LittleA choose green to color the dough and was happy to stir it all in.
Then we moved to the kneading of the dough. Only trouble was our dough never became dough-like...
so I added more flour in hopes that would turn the whole mess around. This is where the project certainly hit its high point...LittleA laughed as her hands became tangled up in the goop.
and it was that laughter that then led to the quick down pour of tears as the dough began to dry and harden to her hands and she couldn't decide between tossing the large chunks off her hands or continuing to try and knead it. As you can see here - crying won out.And as you would read in one of MaryAnn Kohl's books - its about the process not the product! These were not creations, they were just the pieces we removed from her hands before they hardened.
The current theme to post for this upcoming Monday is "OLD". Perhaps second challenge is a charm!


Anonymous said...

Oh dear! I DO hope you have a better experience next week!

My two year-old has a love/hate relationship with sticky, goopy messes too. They fascinate, but then quickly become something that must be removed right away!

Welcome to the "Unplugged Project." Thanks for joining in. I hope that "old" will be a less traumatic theme for you!

Candy Cook said...

Totally interesting. Thanks for reminding me about the next unplugged challenge which is old.

MaryAnn Kohl said...

I was delighted to find your blog and see that you care about kids and their exploration the same way I do. Thank you for mentioning my website, too. I think the link might be broken, so i'll list it here:

My website has lots and lots of free art activities for people to use. In fact, my newest book (still on a boat from Korea to the USA!), is also listed with tons of free downloads. It's called "Great American Artists for Kids". Here is where to get the free art activivities:

Thanks for the kind words. I love your blog and your photographs are priceless. Thank you again.

MaryAnn Kohl
author, educational consultant, and mom

MaryAnn Kohl said...

One more thing about two year olds and messy gooey things: It's proven by research that kids at the age of potty training have an aversion to messy things and probably relates to their newly realized connection to 'poo'. If they hate goopey mess, they are normal for their age.
MaryAnn Kohl