Dec 1, 2015

Toddler Art Class: Squishy Sparkle Bags

An ocean of fun contained in a zip-top baggie!

Art Project: Squishy Sparkle Bags
cheap hair gel (I got a few bottles at the dollar store)
paint (optional, to add color.  I had best results with an iridescent blue tempera)
mixed metallic confetti shapes
packing tape
paper towels and/or wet wipes for spills


cover art I'm the biggest thing in the ocean / Sherry, Kevin

 What Kids Do:  This was one of the projects that I doubted would work, but I had some extra hair gel leftover from a different project and so I thought I'd give it a try.  I wasn't even sure which part was the "art." Should I let the kids squirt the gel in the bag?  The paint?  In the end and in the interest of time and trying to avoid a complete mess disaster, I asked parents to squeeze in the hair gel, I came around and asked kids if they wanted the paint and if they did, I added 1-2 drops only and the kids added their own confetti from a pile I dumped on the middle of each table. For some kids, carefully choosing the confetti pieces was their favorite part:

Other kids just grabbed some confetti, threw it in, zipped up the bag, then had a blast just squishing that bag for all they were worth:

 This young artist enjoyed leaning onto her bag as HARD as she could!
 This young artist enjoyed the sound the bag made when it was squished around.
 This smile says it all!
The kids stayed much longer than I thought they would and I had a few adults tell me the next week that their child was still playing with their squishy bag at home.  Who knew?

Hindsight Tip: When your artist is done adding confetti, you can seal the bag with a little extra packing tape.  We had the kind of bags with a plastic sliding "zipper" and one parent put the tape vertically just beside the zipper (so it could no longer slide) which worked infinitely better than my idea which was to cover the zipper pull with the tape.

 Variations to try: 
--You could use green paint and call it monster slime! 
--You could use die cut foam shapes and not worry that the metallic confetti would be sharp enough to poke through the bag (that didn't happen to anyone during class, but the foam would eliminate that worry).

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