Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nature Impressions

While following random links in blogland yesterday I came across some fun ideas for things to do with the shrimp and decided it was a good day to take on this project. I originally got the idea from a blog called What Knot (love the name, you really appreciate clever craft blog names after you try to think of one for yourself!) She has a lot of ideas for great kid activities. Finding things to do that get the girls outside and away from the Wii are especially appealing at this time of year, time to break the winter video game habits and get out in the fresh air. The directions I read said to use Sculpey Clay, but our local Michael's did not have any, or any kind of make and bake clay for that matter. So we decided to experiment with two of Crayola's clays, the Model Magic and their Air Dry Clay, and of course they both have their pros and cons. But first some pictures,

Hunting for "nature" is always full of discoveries, one being this super lucky four leaf clover:

Our collection for the first round of impressions, two more rounds of collecting eventually ensued:

The Crayola Model Magic is a lightweight, almost foamy textured product. The pros of using it are mainly that it is not the least bit messy and it is also really easy for smaller children to make into a ball and smush flat. It did very nice impressions and comes in lots of different colors. The texture was actually a con for me though, I was looking for something that had more heft to it, I wanted the disks to have a bit of weight in my hand like normal clay. Also, I think this stuff remains kind of foamy even when its dry, they seem pretty dry this morning and I would still be able to press a fingernail into it and leave a mark. I definitely have doubts as to how long the finished craft would hold up to any type of vigorous play. Also, Model Magic is expensive, as most Crayola products are, definitely something to use a coupon on.

The Crayola Air-Dry Clay was more of what I was looking for. It has the weight and texture of normal clay and made really nice impressions. It is also a good deal less expensive. I would say the only drawbacks are that it is messy (gets all over your hands), which isn't really a drawback when you are supposed to be communing with nature, but could be a pain on other projects and that it does take a while to dry. When I checked our finished discs this morning I had to flip these ones over to let the back side get some air and dry some more.

Air-Dry Clay on the left, Model Magic on the right:

In summary, the 4 year old really liked the Model Magic, the 6 year old and her mom and her mom's wallet really liked the Air-Dry Clay. I will be taking some of the clay with us to the beach in a couple months to do this project again there, it really was a lot of fun for everyone.


Arwen said...

I am just sending Noodle to you. You have much better things to do than I. Last weekend, we did taxes.

melissa s. said...

Hey thanks for the nice comments on my blog! Aren't these prints fun? The kids and I were just doing imprints from the sculpey prints to playdough today which I plan to blog about (artful parent tip again!). Try it, it's fun.

Also - LOVE that quilt you made and I also just bought a rebel xti but am afraid to venture from the auto button. Your pics are great!

quiltu said...

Is it time to go to the beach yet? I want to make some!! Please can we go now?!?!?!