This is a snowman sculpture project that I tried with a Grade 5 class some time ago before I had a kiln. I was wanting to do a sculptural project in something other than papier mache, which we had already done. So I found this fun looking snowman project, which uses powdered laundry soap, here on the Family Fun website. I thought it had great potential...hmmmmm.....
One thing I learnd after doing this is that it's sometimes imperative to follow the directions in terms of ingredients! To create these snowmen, the recipe calls for Ivory Snow mixed with water to form a dough. Well, I was teaching in France at the time, where you can't buy that brand. I assumed any powdered laundry soap would work, so I went ahead and bought the cheapest brand I could find. I made a sample ahead of time and it all seemed ok. Once we tried it in class, though, we all seemed to find our hands stung a little bit while working with it; then I realized there was probably bleach particles in the soap (the little blue dots in the snowmen)! Yikes!
I have since looked up Ivory Snow, and it doesn't contain any bleach. Anyway, back to the project: we finished it (very quickly- heh, heh) and the kids did enjoy it (some wanted to make two snowmen), but I also found if you worked the soap mixture too long, it had a tendency to crumble.
Nonetheless, everyone managed to finish one, and then they added accessories using beads, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, toothpicks, twigs, pop-poms, sequins and fabric. We cut bases out of cardboard, painted them and hot glued the snowmen to the base. Once they dried, I believe I gave them a coat of white glue in order to help strengthen them. My sample lasted all year, though it was on a shelf and no one touched it.
So, would I try this project again? Probably not! If I happen to see my Ivory Snow somewhere (I seem to recall it can be difficult to find where I live) I might try this again and see how it turns out. But on the bright side, the room smelled really nice and the tables were spotless afterwards!
This is a sample my student assistant (a Grade 12 student) made using a cornstarch dough recipe I whipped up at home. It made a really beautiful, smooth white clay, but it took so long to make (it's a cooked recipe), I decided it wasn't worth the time and energy. But for a parent at home with their kids, I really like cornstarch clay. For the fake snow, we used the amazing half shaving cream, half white glue mixture- works like a charm and dries nice a puffy.