One of my favorite movies as a child was the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with the hilariously odd Gene Wilder. In tribute to the role the book by Roald Dahl and the movie had in my own life (encouraging imagination, laughter, kindness and gratitude), this week in Art Adventures we made lollipops inspired by the incredible, edible imagination room in Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
1. We started by cutting circles out of heavy weight, white paper. I love Strathmore’s mixed media paper as its subtle surface texture and weight stands up to some serious painting, gluing and embellishing.
At Gather and anytime I am making art, I like to set up of a buffet of art materials; an art feast that feels bountiful, organized, colorful and inviting. This buffet also included a box lid to house the inevitable glitter messes that are about to ensue.
2. Decorate your circles in whatever way you chose. I like to demonstrate mark making first, laying a foundation of color(s) and then embellishing with all sorts of things.
How about markers and colorful rice? or fabric scraps? The possibilities are endless, but there must be glitter, right? That big, flaky iridescent glitter gives every piece that sugary, sweet confections feel.
3. Hot glue a colorful paper straw of your choice to your creation and voila, an amazing lollipop! “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it…” I hope the song is stuck in your head now too.
For our even younger artists, I started with a sturdier, double-sided base. The popsicle stick variety is easier for small hands to navigate and making it double-sided allowed for more art making and planning if using glue on either side.
4. Ask your little ones about the flavor of their lollipop. Invite storytelling by asking questions that lead to creative thinking. Who would like a lollipop like this? How would the “lion doctor” get a “chocolate mousse, blueberry cake” lollipop? The ideas and stories that kids making art come up with can be incredible. I think it is our job to give them space and inspiration to create fantastic realities as that ability to think big, think different, think outside of what currently is, is what will help them solve problems as they grow.
The fun didn’t stop with lollipop making. This collection of amazing swirls at the play dough station came to life too. Over the course of the afternoon they were cookies, candies, treats for baby dolls and hammerhead sharks. I never stop being amazed how setting the stage for creativity allows magic to happen for the maker and those who discover what is made.
“We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams” ~Roald Dahl. Thank you Gene Wilder for encouraging us to laugh and to dream.