|Edible art lesson - decorating gingerbread houses, marshmallow lollipops, cereal bracelets and reindeer food|
I thought the lesson could get a little out of hand with children on a sugar high so we had a a rule around not eating as we made our art (this reinforced the rule about no eating in the art room). Once their parents picked them up they could of course eat their art (with Mum or Dad's permission).
Prior to the lesson we discussed how art comes in many forms and making cakes, cookies and other edible delights can be a form of art. Some cake makers are very very creative. We discussed Connie Viney who has made life size gingerbread houses - the children liked the idea of that!
Then it was onto the lesson. The children rotated around the table so everyone was doing something different.
1. Gingerbread Houses
|Mini Gingerbread house ready to decorate|
Yes there was an insane amount of prep for this lesson. I baked 30 mini gingerbread houses and I will admit it took hours and a few late nights. I made my own cardboard house first and then used this as my template for the houses. I used this recipe for the gingerbread.
Once the gingerbread was cool I assembled the houses attaching the sides and ends first using royal icing. I used a few cups to balance it all until it was semi dry. I waited until the sides were completely hard before attaching the roof, again using some cups to balance it all. Thankfully none of them collapsed!
The children then decorated the already assembled houses. I passed out a bowl of lollies, a small zip lock bag with royal icing in it (which I cut off the corner as I passed it to them) and small balls of coloured fondant. They decorated the houses and surrounding board (the boards are just spare cardboard I had covered in foil). We also had some runny icing and coconut to add at the end for snow.
Here are some of the results - what a good job they did!
2. Sugar Art
I just put the bowls of coloured sugar on the table with spoons in them and the children spooned the coloured sugar mixture in layers (some mixed it up - that's OK too) into the jars. I also provided bamboo skewers if they wished to make patterns.
Ensure the bottle is completely full and then seal (my bottles had a bit of a dent in the lids so we put cotton wool in it).
Admire (Mum's choice) or Eat (Children's choice). It could be spooned onto cereal or something.
3. Grape Structures
My kids love doing these. Simply provide toothpicks and a bowl of grapes and leave them to construct a structure. You can use mini marshmallows instead of grapes and for a bigger structure use marshmallows and spaghetti. Click here for my post on this.
4. Painting with Chocolate
A nice novelty from normal painting. Melt some chocolate in a bowl. Provide some paintbrushes (clean unused ones, cleaned well with dish washing detergent first) and some baking paper. I let them paint whatever they wanted. Place in fridge to harden chocolate which can then be peeled off and eaten.
5. Marshmallow Lollipops
Provide marshmallows, lollipop sticks, and edible food markers. Stick the marshmallow onto the lollipop stick and then decorate with the edible food markers.
6. Edible Necklaces and Bracelets
Provide fruit loops (or other cereal with holes in the middle) and craft string. Thread cereal onto string and tie the ends.
7. Reindeer Food
To finish the lesson we also made some reindeer food, this is a bit of a tradition in our household so I thought all the kids could make some. There are a few recipes out there yet we generally use oats, hundreds and thousands and edible glitter (which is simply the coloured sugar which we used in the sugar art). Mix ingredients and put into a bag. Sprinkle on the grass on Christmas Eve.
We had two artists of the week this week.
The Hotham Street Ladies who are a group of five women based in Melbourne who make street art, installations, public art, recipe books and cakes. They currently have an installation at Federation Square as part of the Melbourne Now Festival. The exhibition will run until March. There is a great video that shows some of their work on the ABC website - click here.
Our second artist of the week was Connie Viney. Connie Viney is a British artist known for her outlandish and larger than life sculptures and installations made from cake and icing. She recently exhibited a full size gingerbread house.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!