Earth Day is coming up next week, so I wanted to come up with a fun themed activity for my little and I to do together. I have also spent several months waiting for it to be warm enough outside to try the melted bead suncatcher idea I have seen on Pinterest. I decided this was the perfect way to kill two birds with one stone. Wait, is it okay to use that expression when talking about Earth Day??
This is a great project that can be used for any theme or holiday, or none at all. The basic principle remains the same no matter what you choose.
Here’s what you’ll need:
*Assorted Metal Baking Dishes
Begin by sorting (or not sorting) the beads however you would like. My son took charge of the muffin pan,
And we worked together on the larger Earth.
As you can probably tell we weren’t aiming for perfection. I looked up a clipart graphic of the earth so it would be very simple looking and we based it loosely on that image, just adding green beads in approximately the right areas.
When everything was filled up the way we wanted we took them outside. (Can you guess what my son’s favorite color is? Or that he was all out of "attention to detail" after that one ;-)
I heated the grill to 400 degrees
and placed the pans in there. Oh, I forgot to mention that he decided all the leftover beads should be in the other larger pan even though they didn't fill it. He says it's a moon to go with the Earth.
We then proceeded to goof around while keeping an eye on the beads.
The different size groups heated at different rates. The muffin pan was ready first after only about 10-15 minutes.
And the "moon" was ready pretty soon after.
The earth took the longest at almost 25 minutes.
Once the beads have become one smooth surface, use a hot pad to remove the pan from the heat.
Let the beads cool in the pan and then they will come right out easily. We actually enjoyed watching them cool. As the plastic cooled and hardened it also shrank a tiny bit. As it pulled away from the pan edges it made loud cracking sounds that we found pretty amusing.
Here's the full collection. I haven't hung them yet, (because it has been raining since we finished them) but I am just going to drill a small hole in the top and hang with string or fishing line.
A few notes:
* This is a very stinky project. I can only imagine the stink is bad for you, so make sure you do this outside with lots of fresh air. I realised the irony of an "Earth Day" project that is most likely toxic a bit too late.
* Make sure you get the translucent pony beads. I wasn't thinking and mine are solid. They still look cool but they aren't really "suncatchers". We will probably end up making more just to get the right effect.
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