When I received Candy Construction from Thomas Allen and Son, I knew exactly how I was going to test out a couple of the “recipes” – with my Grade 3s and Grade 5s on “Hallowe’en Party” day. I mean, since everyone was having parties and eating candy and dressing up in costumes, who was I to resist?
The book is written on the premise that kids love candy and suggests that a way to let them enjoy candy without actually eating it is to let them make something with it. The author believes that if you let kids construct cool things with candy they won’t want to eat it and offers rules for little builders to follow like “no snacking on the job”, “one item may be chosen to eat only after cleanup is done” and “candy construction workers must brush their teeth after work”. Well my little construction workers followed most of those rules and were proud of their creations but they still wanted to eat them 😉
I was excited to find two (vaguely) curriculum-related activities for both grades: millipedes and centipedes for Grade 5 who are currently working on a unit involving frogs (who eat insects, right?) and butterflies for Grade 3 who have just sent Monarch butterflies off to Mexico as part of the Journey North program.
I started the day with Grade 5 and their “insectes“. I chose liquorice “laces” and Lifesavers in various colours and the boys selected their own combination.
The book is great at showing the finished product (and making it sound easy in the “method”) but I really would have liked some step-by-step pictures of at least a couple of steps along the way… I am only a little bit crafty (when I ran summer camps, I would always delegate the craft activities to the other staff!) so some more direction would have been welcome. Had I been making them, they would not have turned out half as well!
The boys had a bit of trouble tying the liquorice laces (they kept breaking). Have to say I didn’t even think that this would be an issue but the boys soldiered on and persevered anyway (you know, eating the broken bits along the way…). The final products were not as professional looking as the photos in the book but we were pretty pleased nonetheless.
The Grade 3s were excited to make “stained glass butterflies” using pretzels and crushed up Lifesavers as the basis for the wings. They had a lot of fun bashing the Lifesavers into dust…
The finished product?
This book is full of inspiring pictures and interesting ideas of things about construct with candy and I have no doubt I will be using it again in the course of my teaching career. I will, however, do proper test runs with projects before I undertake them with 20 sugared up boys (!). Some of the projects are probably not as easy as they appear unless you are craftily gifted! It’s a great book for older kids (12ish year olds) to work with on their own but younger ones might need some help and supervision.
* Did you see my World on a Plate, Destination: Umbria video? I would love your vote to move on to Round 8 of Project Food Blog where we have to bake with pumpkin. I have some pretty fun ideas… Voting open 6AM Pacific Time on Monday, November 15th until 6PM Pacific Time on Thursday November 18th. Simply click here (note: link no longer live) to read the post and vote. Many thanks for your continued support.
** Did you know? Jamie Oliver is speaking in Toronto on November 18th. Thanks to The Art of Cooking, I am able to offer a discount to you, my readers, of $10 per ticket (more if you purchase more than 5 tickets). Click here for the special promotion code to be applied to your ticket price. Don’t miss this event – I saw Jamie speak last year and it was inspirational to say the least. It inspired me to start Les Petits Chefs, for one…