Spring reveals all sorts of treasures, hidden under leaves and raccoon droppings. The plaster cast above is one of the treasures we found in our garden, and has managed to remain intact for close to ten years. So now that lovely weather is finally upon us, it won’t take much encouraging to get kids outside exploring and collecting items to make their own impressions of nature. Isn’t that what all those cargo pant pockets are for?
- Plaster of Paris
- mold eg. aluminum pie plate
- plastic container for mixing plaster
- stirring stick/spoon
- items from nature e.g. sticks, stones. shells, leaves, coral, etc.
1. Have children gather a collection of items found in nature. These items will be used to make impressions in the plaster, and some can even be left inside.
2. Select a mold, and prepare enough Plaster of Paris to fill it. Instructions will be on the container, but tends to be two parts plaster to one part water. If you prepare too much plaster, make sure to throw it in the garbage and not down the drain, where it will solidify and make your plumber happy.
3. Allow plaster to set slightly, before carefully laying the items on top. To make impressions, remember to place the textured side of the items face down. For any items you’d like to leave in the plaster eg. pebbles or sea shells, the good side should be face up. We did a combination of both.
Before the plaster dries completely, remove items which will not be remaining permanently. There’s no particular length of time for this, so just keep checking and making sure you can still pry things away without breaking the plaster. Allow to dry completely overnight.