For open-ended, hands-on fun, nothing beats messing with plaster. Kids will love the process of pressing cool doodads into clay, using foil to create a simple mold, and pouring in plaster of Paris. When dry, the results are amazing and make a fab camp keepsake -- or a fantastic Dad's Day gift. We used plastic animals, tools, and costume jewelry, but almost any hard object works (and any clay residue rinses right off after you're done).
You Will Need:
Sculpting or play clay
Plastic or metal animals, tools, costume jewelry, toy cars, or other objects
Plaster of Paris
Wire (we used 22 gauge)
On the waxed paper, roll the clay until it's about 1 inch thick. With the butter knife, trim it into a shape you like.
Make your design by pressing one or more objects firmly into the clay. Rinse each object and set it aside.
Stack two sheets of aluminum foil and carefully center the clay on top of them. Wrap the foil up around the clay so that the walls extend at least 1 inch above the surface. Press the foil securely around the clay.
Use the spoon to mix the plaster in the bucket according to the instructions on the package. Working fairly quickly, pour the plaster into the mold, tapping the sides carefully to settle the plaster and to remove air bubbles.
Use pliers to twist a wire hanging loop. As the plaster starts to thicken, insert the loop's twisted end.
Let the plaque set for 30 minutes, then gently peel away the foil and the clay. Let the plaque harden fully overnight. The clay can be stored for future use.
Originally published in the June/July 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.