Before you say “I’m not letting my kids play in mud,” hear me out. These little Mud Monsters by Kathleen George have a lot going for them. First, they’re a kid-tested craft – Kathleen used this project in her kid’s craft classes and the kids adored making them. You don’t need a lot of fancy supplies, either, as they’re decorated with found materials. When the Mud Monsters are finished, the kids can spend even more time playing with them. And finally, you can just hose down the kids and your work surface when you’re finished. Next time you hear “I’m so bored,” it’s time to play in the mud!
To make a Mud Monster, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 5” ball (or other size)
- Fine potting soil
- Thick, white craft glue
- Natural items: Twigs, pebbles, nuts, leaves, pine needles, etc.
- Tools needed: Plastic knife; chopstick or wood skewer; stiff paintbrush; strainer; large plastic bowl
To make a Mud Monster:
1. Using the plastic knife, cut a slice from bottom of the 5” ball so that it sits flat and won’t roll. (NOTE: Carefully supervise your child as he/she uses the plastic knife. For younger kids, consider doing this step yourself.)
2. Place the strainer over the bowl. Pour a small amount of potting soil into the strainer and shake gently over the mixing bowl. Save finer soil in the bowl, and discard the larger bits in the garden.
3. Insert skewer into the foam ball to use as a handle. Paint ball with glue. Roll the ball in the soil, using your fingers to help cover the ball with the soil. If needed, add more glue and cover with more dirt.
4. Place the skewer in a heavy jar while glue dries.
5. Decorate your monster with pebbles, nuts, sticks, leaves, pine needles, pine cone leaves, and other natural items. To attach, press the items into the foam ball, remove, add glue to the impression, and item back into the hole. Let glue dry.
Once the kids have tired of their Mud Monsters, I think you can repurpose the balls of STYROFOAM Brand Foam to use again. Because you’ve used a water-based glue, you should be able to soak your ball overnight and then wash it clean. I’ve not tried this yet, but I think it should work.
If you’re still not sure about all that mud, tune in the crafty video below, Monster Mania. Candie Cooper will show you lots of other ideas for making monster crafts for kids. Enjoy!
Speaking of fun activities for the last few weeks of summer vacation, today is the last day you can enter to win a Solar System kit. We were talking about the Mars rover Curiosity last week, and you’ll need to join in the discussion for your chance to win a Solar System kit.
Happy crafting! Sharon