Here are a few scary (and sadly, out of focus!) monsters from a product demo I did yesterday for Crayola, using their Model Magic modeling material. These imaginative creatures were created by an 8 year old boy who couldn’t get enough of this stuff!
Before being asked to teach this demo, I always thought Model Magic was more of a pre-school type of thing, but after spending a whole afternoon with it, I can honestly say I was wrong! Of course, kids of all ages loved it, but the adults were having tons of fun with it, too. Check out some of the creative ideas they came up with…. everything from finger puppets to sushi!
So, here’s what I like about Model Magic….
1. It air dries overnight, so you don’t need to fire it or bake it.
2. It comes in several colors plus white and black, and you can mix your own “custom” colors by kneading colors together. (If you stop kneading before the colors are fully mixed, you get a beautiful “marbled” effect.) If you work with the white, you can also paint your finished pieces with watercolor, tempera or acrylic paint, or color them with markers.
3. It’s not messy, it doesn’t stain your hands and it’s non-toxic. Super easy to clean up!
4. You can stamp it or press textures into it (note the “shells” above which were made by pressing Model Magic onto a real shell to pick up its shape and texture).
5. You can roll it out into a very thin slab using a Crayola marker as a rolling pin. (The smooth, round marker barrel is perfect for this.)
6. To join separate pieces, all you do is stick them together! (Unlike clay, which requires scoring and slip and then still sometimes pops apart!)
Model Magic is soft, light and airy, almost like a marshmallow, but not really. There’s nothing else quite like it. You can even cut it with scissors!
Of course it does have some limitations. Once you open the pouch it comes in, you need to either use it right then or transfer it to an air-tight ziplock bag. It dries out quickly and I’m not sure how long it will stay moldable once in the ziplock. Also, when it’s “wet” it will stick to paper, so you need to work on a smooth, non-porous surface. We cut open a big plastic trash bag and taped it to the table and it made a great work surface! Model Magic should be kept away from heat or flame, so don’t use it to make candle holders!
If you were working with more than just a few kids (like a whole class), you might want to limit the colors for simplicity’s sake – maybe even just use white and let them paint it later. I can imagine lots of applications for this in the classroom…. ornaments, pendants, picture frames, book marks (on a popsicle stick) and lots more.
Summer is a great time to experiment with some fun new products, so pick up some Model Magic and check out the Crayola website for tons of project ideas and lesson plans!! (The Model Magic Fusion looks like fun, too, but I haven’t tried that yet…. let me know what you think if you try it!)