What you need:
- Plaster of Paris
- Powdered tempera paint
- Measuring cups
- Strong Zip Lock bags
- Cookie cutters
- Wax paper
- Baking tray
What you do NOT need:
- bowls and cups to mix in, unless you are silly like me and want a bigger mess to clean up...
Ready? Are the kids ready? Here we go!
- Cover your baking tray with wax paper. You may want to cover your work surface too.
- Lay your cookie cutters on the tray. You can pick dinosaurs for your junior archaeologist, hearts for valentines day, bugs for the family entomologist, whatever. Just try not to use things with spindly parts (your young oceanographer might be pretty upset when all those chalk legs snap off their octopus).
- Open up one of your bags and scoop in 1-2 heaping spoonfuls of powdered tempera paint.
- Check your plaster of paris and measure the recommended amount of plaster powder into your bag. It should say something like 1 part water to 1.5 parts plaster. We used 1 cup and 1.5 cups. Starting small is a good idea.
- Pour in the water, according to the plaster's recommended measurement.
- Squish out the extra air (this doesn't have to be perfect), and seal your bag. Let your kids squish the ingredients up. If it look really, really watery, you may want to add a pinch more plaster powder.
- Cut the corner of the bag.
- Pipe your chalk mixture into the cooky cutters.
- Repeat for any other colors you wish to make.
- Let the chalk dry over night.
- Pop off the cookie cutters - let your kids try!
- Dry for another 24 hours. If your kids can't wait (mine couldn't), that's okay, it will be like drawing with wet chalk. We "tested" everything, before giving them time to dry properly.
- Work small portions of plaster of paris at a time, especially if you have the quick-drying kind!
- Don't get any plaster down your drain (course, if you are smart and mix yours in bags, that shouldn't happen).
- Test your chalk on a small area if you are drawing on your driveway or somewhere like that - tempera is washable, but you never know!
- Have fun filling some of your cookie cutters with more than one color.
Note: We found that as our plaster chalk became more and more dryed out, it was neccessary to dampen it in order to draw with it.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment below!