It's hot. It's sticky. Everybody's sweating. The kids are getting bored. You're running out of ideas to keep them occupied.
So, raid the pantry and refrigerator. Plop it down in front of them and tell them to "get creative."
Rachael Ray had a whole show devoted to playing with your food the other day. There were very elaborate pictures made with nothing but Jelly Belly jelly beans. (You've got to admit, they've got a great color pallet.) Jason Baalman presented Rachael with a detailed portrait done only in Cheetos and there was a guy who "painted" with used chewing gum!
The gum guy was a little gross to me. he didn't just use his own chewed gum but gives out quality gum (those that retain their colors when chewed) to others to chew provided they return the used wads to him. The artwork wasn't bad but I just couldn't embrace that particular concept.
Jason Baalman, however, was pretty fascinating. He's used pretty much everything you can think of to create works of art - Cheetos, chocolate, lipstick, mascara, even bbq ribs! He actually earns a living at it, selling only online. He recently used 1500 little toy soldiers to create a piece that was auctioned for a fundraiser for the U.S.O. Up close, one saw a battlefield. From a distance, it was a very detailed portrait of a soldier. Impressive!!
I Googled him and spent a good hour reading about his accomplishments and creations. I found his You Tube site the most informative but there are dozens of listings for him.
Jason demonstrated how to use anything around you to "draw". Since he was on a popular cook's program, he showed how to raid the kitchen for both "paints" and tools of the trade. They used ketchup, bbq sauce and mustard for Rachael's effort. She liked the squirt bottle for applying the ketchup but he also showed how to use a knife, fork or even chopsticks to create design texture. Shading can be accomplished by mixing "sauces" or thinning them down a bit for a lighter shade.
I decided to give it a try. I used ketchup and spicy brown mustard and painted on a foam plate. I didn't get too creative with the tools and just used some kids' paint brushes and a toothpick for details.
I need to practice with this new medium - or at least buy better, thicker ketchup.
I do think the kids would find it appealing being able to play with the foods in the fridge. There's something wicked about playing with your food, even when Mom gives permission.
Might be good for an afternoon of activity. Give it a try.