Crafting with Marshmallows - Snow and Ice Theme

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I had the brilliant idea that my daughter and I could make igloos out marshmallows.  I saw this sugar cube igloo, and I thought we could use marshmallows instead of sugar cubes.  Better yet, we would make animal figurines out of marshmallows too.  After it was all done, we would have fun playing with our small world snowy set.

All was going well.  I had mixed a bit of cream of tartar as a binding agent with white frosting.  I cut out circular cardboard bases.  We had two large bags of marshmallows.  We each would make our own igloo masterpiece.

The first layer went well.  Then Miss E kept sneaking licks of frosting and popping marshmallows into her mouth.  She had already consumed half a dozen of the sweet puffs in the grocery store, and later mass consumption of sugar may have led to a passionate display of emotions.  The marshmallows wouldn't stack higher than two without looking like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Once our supply of marshmallows dwindled, we were left with wonky, squished marshmallows which didn't aid our architectural efforts.  We kept plodding away until we had used up almost all our marshmallows.  

Miss E was pleased with what she called her ice house.  Even if her creation doesn't look like an igloo, I think it has a look of a striking ice sculpture.  I will spare you the pictures of my igloo because, ahem, the lighting was poor. 

Now the real fun of creating adorable animal figurines began.  We used glue, scissors and Sharpies to make a set of snow animals.  We learned some lessons.  Sharpies don't color well on marshmallows.  Liquid glue doesn't hold pieces of marshmallows together.  When the marshmallows were cut apart to make ears, paws, and wings, the inside of the marshmallow is THE MOST INFURIATINGLY STICKY SUBSTANCE EVER.  It sticks to your fingers and by the time you have wrestled it off of your fingers the cute little polar bear ear looks like a nose booger.  Despite it all, Miss E was happy with her animals.  

When Miss E went to bed, I thought I could rescue the animal figurines with a coat of the miraculous Mod Podge.  You know because a layer of shine makes everything better.  The Mod Podge made the color smear all over the figurines.  Once the Mod Podge dried, some of it flaked off the figurines.

In the morning, everything was dry and I presented her with her snow houses.  I added a few paper polar bears printed off the internet because I felt guilty about the state of the marshmallow figurines.  I hoped she wouldn't notice the two missing marshmallows that the cats tore off, but she did.  Thankfully, I could blame the cats and not my lack of crafting genius.  She took it in stride.

Despite the unique appearance of the animals and houses, she has enjoyed playing with her snowy world set for two extended periods of play in just one day.   Later, she hugged me and said, "Mama, you have the best ideas for me."  I realized I was silly for caring about how our project turned out because she loved every bit of it. I may not be convinced to craft with marshmallows for a long time, but I will try to remember to better enjoy my future crafting projects rather than worry about the outcome.  I think we may reserve marshmallows for hot chocolate.

If my less than enthusiastic endorsement of the sweet white puffs hasn't discouraged you from taking a crafting stab at them, there are more talented folks out there who have been more positive in their regard to marshmallows.  No Time for Flashcards loves crafting with marshmallows to create pictures on paper.  It looks like using a paper cup with marshmallows may be an easier way to make an igloo.  Let Kids Create builds with marshmallows and toothpicks.  Have you had success creating with marshmallows?

Follow this blog though the month of January because I will be featuring snow and ice themed activities for kids.  Here in Texas, the chances for real life experience with freezing weather conditions are rare.  I want to provide my daughter with fun experiences with the cold stuff even if we miss out on building a real snow man. 


Brooke @ Let Kids Create said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It's all in the experience, right? It was difficult for us also to get those soft marshmallows to do what we wanted. Maybe stale would be better? Thanks for linking to me!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Let the marshmallows air dry for a day or two before crafting with them. Maybe also try mini marshmallows?

Joyce said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I absolutely adore this post. It was hilariously written and sweet. You did a marvelous job and I had a grin on my face the entire time. <3 Your daughter is so sweet! It really is about the thought and they think more highly of our efforts than we often do. Oh, and by the way, I was so going to do a sugar cube igloo in a couple of weeks! I thought I had an original idea. Ha! Oh well. :)

Joyce said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh, and by the way... I think it's all really cute! I wonder though, if a food grade marker would have worked better?

Rebekah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Brooke - I was happy to link to your great idea! Yes, I have heard stale works better.

Anon - Thanks for the tip!

Joyce, I am so happy you saw the humor in my post. I was trying to write with a sarcastic sense of humor but not sure if it would just come across as being a Debbie Downer. I have never heard of food grade markers, but will check them out when I want to craft with food. Kids are so easy to please! I thought I was being original with marshmallows but turns out others have done but they used cups. If I had performed a miracle and made an igloo without a cup, I could claim originality. As it is, I couldn't call these igloos. ;)

Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It still looks like you had a lot of fun! I have a feeling my daughter would hate the sticky ( she hates anything sticky!) , but hates marshmallows so I wouldn't
have to worry about her eating them! I think if you let the marshmallows get harder you might have more success....who knows? Either way it is all about the process and quality time spent with your daughter is in my eyes it was successful!

maryanne @ mama smiles said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This post is brilliant! My worst-ever marshmallow experience was the time I tried making them from scratch (as a teenager). They turned out okay in the end, but what a STICKY project! And don't get me started on washing up, at least without a dishwasher! I see all these gorgeous photos of homemade marshmallows on pinterest, but can't bring myself to try...

We play with mini marshmallows and toothpicks a fair bit, but my strange children don't usually think of eating them.

Thanks for linking up to Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

Rebekah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Melissa - You are so right it is about enjoying the quality time with my daughter! =)

MaryAnne - I am so glad that you shared that you hated making marshmallows. I, too, have been eyeing homemade marshmallow recipes, so I think I will just find someone else to make them for me. ;)

Chrissy @ The Outlaw Mom Blog said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a great idea and I love that your showed the process and how it didn't quite work out as planned :-) That happens to me all the time! But the kids have SO much fun, don't they?!

Rebekah said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Chrissy - So true that the kids always do have fun. They don't care how it turns out. The process is the most important thing for them.

Michelle said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a cute idea! And it sounds like your daughter had so much fun! I think we might try something along these lines too! Thanks for sharing!

Pip said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

oh i love it and so would my boys!! This will be on our list of things to do this week!! Thanks for sharing!

Post a Comment