Thursday, July 30, 2009

frEE fORm ConCrEte FuN

We recently shot a kids garden episode for b. organic and I threw in a few artful additions at the end because my daughter LOVES to fill her garden space with 'schtuff'....lots and lots of 'schtuff'.......It's not always just about the plants, you know! So, I wanted to quickly share the outdoor fun that can be had by all using a $3 bag of cement mix. Kids and grown-ups alike have a ball playing with the mix and forming things up. It's like the industrial version of play-doh and makes for some very durable, interesting garden art. Grab a bag of cement mix (I like to use the inexpensive 'sand mix' for this project)...available at any home improvement store. Use a shallow tub to mix in. (if kids are mixing, have them wear a dust mask) Add enough water to create a 'cookie dough' type consistency. Can always add more water or mix to get it how you need it. Have a spray bottle filled with water handy, too. Be sure the kids wear rubber gloves because the mix REALLY dries out the skin. Work on plastic cutting boards. (or, cover a table with a vinyl tablecloth) I spray the surface lightly with nonstick cooking spray to insure easy removal once cured. You don't want to work on wood or newspaper because it absorbs the moisture and if you leave your pieces there to cure, the paper will be stuck to the bottom and sometimes parts of your piece will adhere to the wood.

Dig in and grab a handful of mix and start forming. You can form up hearts (madeline's favorite), silly faces, and other random shapes. Embed objects, draw designs or lettering. Once cured (24-48 hours) you can paint with artist acrylics and spray with a sealer for greater protection against the weather, if desired. They can then work their way up to larger scale, reinforced sculptures and things. The cement mix gives you a MUCH longer working time than the typical stepping stone kits available for kids that are typically made out of a plaster of paris material and it's much more economical. FUN, FUN, FUN! Grab yourself a bag and enjoy!

Cheers to the natural goodness that stems from creative expression!

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