Holiday DIY: Gumdrop Ornaments With Kids
Yesterday was a snow day. It snowed a lot on Sunday, I’ll give the school that. But there are also plows and salt trucks who worked very very hard to clear the roads. All their hard work went to waste though, because they still canceled school. I expect the Superintendent to apologize to the DPW workers for wasting all their hard work. While they’re at it, they can apologize to me too. I will think about accepting.
Since it was a snow day I decided to make something with the kids. I went back to my post from last year and collected the supplies needed to make these candyball ornaments.
I didn’t want to use hot glue because that’s a mess and hard for 6-to-9-year-olds to control so I decided to use toothpicks. I bought two sizes of balls, one large and the other small.
Max pouted at the craft store because I wouldn’t buy an extra one to play catch with. I’m a pretty mean woman, you know because I thought we have 14 balls in assorted sizes all over this house so I refused to buy a styrofoam ball to throw around.
Don’t these gum drops look festive, waiting to be speared and attached to foam balls? Here are all our supplies.
Here we are busily working. That extra child is not Logan, it’s Max’s friend TJ.
We started out by sticking whole toothpicks into the styrofoam but it was too difficult for the kids to get them all the way in. At first I did all the sticking in and the kids attached the gum drops to the toothpicks.
This worked but made it difficult to get really close coverage with the drops. Instead we broke the toothpicks in half putting the top of the pick just a tiny bit into the gumdrop and then spearing the whole thing into the ball. This worked much better.
I started out using the larger balls with the kids and they liked this project but that’s a lot of gumdrops to attach.
They stuck with it though and we ended up with this.
Problem? They were too heavy to really be on the tree and I had no way to attach a ribbon or something strong enough to allow it to be hung. Which was fine, we put them in these glass vases.
By that point the kids were tired of making these, short attention spans, so I made one more by myself. I used the smaller size and wrapped it with two pieces of wire twisted together at the top.
This worked well to let you hang the ball, but if I did another, I would also put a ribbon around the ball before I stuck all the gum drops on it, tying it at the top with a loop and a bow. I attached my ribbon at the end and it worked but didn’t look as nice as it could have.
1) Use smaller balls for short attention spans and also weight.
2) The toothpicks were tricky for the 6 year olds to use, sometimes the tips would pop out the top of the gum drops. Also, if they didn’t get them in far enough, they came loose.
3) It might be easier if you used a low temp glue gun, maybe letting them put the gum drops on as you dab the glue onto the ball.
4) The mess from this project was pretty minimal. Lots of sugar on the floor and table but easy to be swept away.
5) You may also want to keep your finished ball out of your kid’s reach.
They both swear they didn’t eat anything.