Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Marshmallow Snowmen (and women)

Are you looking for a simple yet festive craft that doubles as a treat to bring in the festive season? Try making marshmallow snowmen, er.....women, er......people. How about Mary Poppins?


This activity is more for you than for your child, or do it together. It involves a lot of tiny pieces of candy and a lot of sticky stuff like corn syrup and peanut butter which is hard to maneuver. If you don't mind what these look like then go ahead and assemble them together but if you are giving these away as gifts (such as teacher or neighbor gifts...I'm thinking hot chocolate stirrers? Maybe next year....) then I'd just assemble it yourself. They do take a bit of time and patience while drying. I had each girl from our preschool group just tell me which features they wanted and I assembled it for them, allowing them to stick on the buttons and eating the Oreo cream. Once they were dry I put them in a sandwich bag and tied it up so they could take it home!

 

Materials: 
You probably have most of these things on hand. Just use what you can find in your pantry or leftover Halloween candy!
--6" lollipop stick or straw
--Marshmallows--3 regular sized (mini ones for piles of snowballs or cloud effect!)
--Eyes--mini chocolate chips or mini M&M's
--Buttons--mini M&M's smarties or red hots
--Scarf--lemon heads or fruit roll-ups
--Hat--chocolate ring with large gum drop or other chocolate candy on top of half an Oreo cookie
--Arms--pretzel sticks
--Nose--mini M&M or candy corn
--Mouth--licorice rope or mini chocolate chips
--Corn syrup and/or peanut butter
--Mini cupcake liner, optional


First, you start with three regular sized marshmallows. Using either a 6" lollipop stick or straw (though paper straws are not as strong they are so cute!) slide the mallows on. Next, insert eyes. I used mini chocolate chips (but any small candy item will do). I poked a tiny hole using a toothpick in corn syrup then inserted the chip. For the nose, I used mini M&M's for some and then for others I used cut candy corn. For the mouth there are several options. You can use licorice rope (I used black because I had it leftover from marshmallow spiders) or a row of mini chocolate chips. And for the buttons I used mini M&M's but smarties or red hots would work for these too. For all of the facial and button features, I used a toothpick dipped into corn syrup to stick them on. Corn syrup does take a long time to dry. If you're in a hurry or they are not sticking, just dab on some peanut butter. The arms are just pretzel sticks stuck into a hole that I stabbed with a toothpick first.

The scarf and hats were the trickiest to make stick. With that hats I twisted Oreo's apart, scraped (or let the kids lick if it is for them) off the cream (I had some left over from Halloween) and used one half. Then I bought this Christmas mix that had jelly rings and chocolate covered jelly candies. They were nice and round. I stuck them all together with peanut butter after I realized the corn syrup was just sliding around with the weight. Corn syrup is a good option for kids with allergies or for a glossy look.

 

The scarves we used were made out of sour air heads. It looked kind of "snowy" with the sugar coating and it was striped. I just cut them down the middle, lengthwise, and got 2 scarves out of each candy. I also thought of using fruit by the foot or fruit roll-ups for a more solid color. The nice thing about fruit roll-ups would have done is stick to each other better. For mine, I tried using corn syrup and peanut butter to make the scarf stick to itself but they wouldn't stick. Finally, I decided to use a peppermint brach nougat candy (I LOVE those things). I just tore off a piece, smashed it and stuck them together. That worked like a charm!

For the Mary Poppins person I used a cookie, then jelly ring then a Hershey kiss (with the tip bit off) inserted into the ring. For fun I got out some cocktail umbrella's to finish off her look.

 

For the snowman, well, he got a sword.


 Have fun!

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