Monday, July 21, 2008

Unplugged - Glass

Glass, I thought, would be challenging with a toddler. Sharp, you know? But out of the box we went...and came upon beach glass! We have collected lots in the Great Lakes over the years, but come time for our craft, I went to the bag of glass I had bought for the craft shelf. I figured we'd save the "good stuff" for a craft when E gets a little older.

So I had this idea to make sun catchers with sea glass and Elmer's glue...I looked for some directions on the web, and didn't find any, but that didn't deter me. I got out two old canning lids (the hoop parts) and some clear contact paper to seal one side.

I used the contact paper to make a sort of shallow cup from each hoop, then poured in pools of glue. In hindsight, I should have used WAY less glue (more on that later). Then I gave E some beach glass, and was proud of myself for remembering not to give her the whole bag. Even so, she lived up to her tendency to use EVERY LAST PIECE of craft material given to her. I envisioned her placing one piece of glass at a time into the glue, mosaic style, choosing some light and some dark greens to form a nice contrasting pattern. In fact, the first thing she did was dump the entire container of glass into one of the hoops, and we spent the next ten minutes fishing the "extra" pieces out of one hoop and putting them into the other.
She did have fun with it, and we soon moved on to pressing the glass in play dough. One of our play dough cutters is a fish, and I thought glass fish scales would look cool...and they did! We read through The Rainbow Fish while she put about 20 eyes on each fish, and we talked about sharing (a theme of the book). Since we ended up with one scaly fish and one naked one, I asked if the fish wanted to share scales with each other..."No! Day don't want to share!" Oh, well. They looked pretty, anyway.
Then we waited for the glue to dry...and here we are 5 days later and IT'S STILL WET. I admit I forgot that big pools of Elmer's glue DO NOT dry. Ever. Especially when sealed airtight by contact paper. Hair dryer, AC vent, dehumidifier, forget it. I ended up peeling the paper off to allow the air to circulate, and glue puddled out everywhere. The parts that did dry contracted strangely and made weird bubbles, but the effect is actually kind of neat. I plan to wrap a ribbon around the outside and hang them in the dining room window.

Now that I know better, I would recommend this craft for older kids with either much less glue or a pourable resin. The glass sticks together nicely, so you could place the glass, then drizzle some glue over top, making sure that some touches each piece and the sides of the container.

This is our fourth or fifth Unplugged Project, and I've thoroughly enjoyed every one. The focused time with E, the teachable moments, and the chance to be creative myself have really been a blessing for us!

11 comments:

Gottfredsen said...

I am so going to have to try these suncatchers with the boys. They will absolutley love them. Thanks what a great project.

The Clarks said...

The suncatchers are great. I will definitely do that with my boys.

Bobbie said...

beach glass came to my mind too!! but there isnt much of it around here!!! it is so beautiful the thing you made... such a good idea

ScottChrisCoriCassiCali said...

Great idea. We may have to try that one!

juliekintaiwan said...

I think it looks gorgeous too! And I really like how you tie it in with a book. Have you seen the book challenge this blog is doing?

http://princessofsomething.wordpress.com

princessofsomething said...

Oooh, I love this! What a totally creative idea-- I love that you stretched yourself to come up with an activity. I generally use google and leave the creativity up to others. :) Those look completely awesome. :)

Kate in NJ said...

That looks great!

Chrissy said...

Awesome! I love how you were able to create an activity connected to your book. Fabulous!

Michie said...

Wow, how creative! They look really pretty!

Robyn said...

I love your sun catchers. They came out really well. I thought of beach glass too, but every time we try to find some, all we find is broken beer bottles. :(

BTW, I answered your question in the comments of my post.

Peterson Party said...

Thanks so much for the comment on my page about the color combining on the stained glass. Funny thing was I was looking at your site this morning and I thought your unplugged project was so awesome and original! Good job!

 
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