Friday, January 4, 2013

Pop Up A Snowman!

There is snow on the ground here and it's cold. Problem is, there's not enough material to sculpt anything worthwhile and the temperature is too low to have a good time out there. That means if we want winter fun we've gotta bring the outside in and pop ourselves a snowman or two. Inside it's warm enough to build one of these little guys, but cool enough of a project so kids will want to make one for themselves - with precautions and lots of help from grandma!

Here's the little prototype I built from popcorn, mini-marshmallows, and a handful of extras for things like eyes and buttons......I made him ahead so I could work out any problems that might arise while my grandkids joined me at our snowman-making table yesterday afternoon.







































The boys, age four, devoted fans of any kind of machine or device with moving parts have expertly operated my little air popper for a long time. I could trust them to take turns pouring and pushing the button to yield the 10-12 cups of popped corn (1/2 cup unpopped) we needed per recipe. (This amount will make one 8" snowman like mine, built from a 3.5" lower body, 2.5" center, and 2" head - or several smaller ones like the kids made.)

In the meantime, I gently melted together, on low heat, 1/2 cup butter (or margarine) followed by the 10.75 bag of mini-marshmallows required as a binding agent.

We spread the popcorn out on a foil lined baking sheet, being very careful to remove unpopped kernels.

Once the marshmallow concoction was melted, I slowly poured it over the popcorn, using a wooden spoon to cover as much as possible, while also making sure the kiddies didn't touch the hot mixture. They waited patiently, hands coated with cooking spray, for grandma to give the okay once the quickly dropping temperature was just right for shaping. Careful vigilance is required here for popcorn that's safe to handle, while still warm enough to stick together!

The best part was diving right in to form the mixture into three balls per snowman. While the kids played around, nibbled, and enjoyed the tactile experience, grandma worked quickly to shape and stack because kids this age can't work that fast!


Popcorn Snowman Test Kitchen!


If there's a problem getting the three body parts to hold together, a low heat stove-rewarming of remaining marshmallow mixture will serve as glue for that task.

Next it is time to bring out a tray offering a selection of paper hats and mittens pre-made by grandma, chocolate chips, red hots, pretzel braids, scraps of ribbon for colorful scarves and orange "Mike and Ike" candy noses. (Buy the $1 box and eat every other color in there before grandpa or the kids see it!) Use a wood or metal skewer to drill into the body (if needed) so the nose and arms can be snugly pushed inside....grandma does that, of course! In fact, be ready to take orders on placement of attachments because this part also is better suited for kids older than my two year old granddaughter.

Popped 'em, decorated 'em, gave 'em multiple arms, and now awaiting permission to eat 'em!


And finally....if you think ordinary "helicopter moms" are annoying, you have never compared them to "Black Hawk Grandmas!" For this project, here's my.......

NERVOUS GRANDMA ALERTS!

1. Be certain that no unpopped kernels remain in the batch of popcorn you'll use. Little kids don't need to bite down on one of those if they are allowed to eat the finished snowmen. (WHAAAT? We might not be able to eat these? Well, ummm.....read below -  alert #3 - before you make your final decision!)

2. Let the kids watch you pour the hot mixture, but make sure they aren't close enough to reach in. It cools quickly so start testing right away until it's safe for them to handle comfortably.

3. This stuff is going to end up between the teeth of your grandkids. Are you really okay with that?
The best solution is to let parents decide if these little guys will be cannibalized upon completion while sturdy toothbrushes lie in wait, or just snacked upon at the out-of-the-popper stage with an understanding that completed little sentries will serve as winter decorations only!


In the end of course, we ate them all. They tasted exactly like what you would expect from indoor snowmen...they melted in our mouths!




Nick...my cute little "squirrel-man!"

27 comments:

  1. These are really cute. I'd love for you to come link this to Mom's Library!

    Ashley
    http://lifewithmoorebabies.blogspot.com/2013/01/moms-library-link-up-my-first.html

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  2. These are adorable! My kids would love to make these little guys!

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  3. These are too cute. THe pictures of the kids are just adorable. And it makes me crave popcorn !!! :) Happy New Year!

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  4. The smiles on those little faces are priceless. What fun.

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  5. I just love it when kids add their unique touch to something. Multiple arms...gotta love it!

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  6. Those grins do tell it all! They sure have an awesome Grandma and they sure had fun. You go to such great lengths to prepare everything in advance so that they can just enjoy the fun part -- you are awesome!

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  7. What a fun idea! My kids are 4 and 3 and would LOVE to do this. The pic of your grandson biting into the snowman is classic!

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  8. What fun are these? So glad you found your way over to Social Sunday! I'm pinning this on Pinterest! Come visit anytime! ~Tammy

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  9. I think this is my very favorite set of directions from any grandma blogger ever, specifically because of this: "(Buy the $1 box and eat every other color in there before grandpa or the kids see it!)" Too funny!

    Great activity. Thank you for all the warnings and for linking it to the GRAND Social!

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  10. Loved this so much, I am featuring you this week on Mom's Library Link-Up. Hop over and grab an I was Featured button!
    Can't wait to see what y'all have been up to this week!

    Be blessed,
    Julie @ Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk
    www.heymommychocolatemilk.blogspot.com

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  11. Aren't they cute!!! (the kids, that is, but so are the snowmen) :-)
    Thanks for stopping in at Cranberry Morning. I'm your newest follower.

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  12. You are such a fun, fun grandma. I don't have to wonder if they had fun. They sound yummy, too. Thank you for linking to Sharing the Shelter--what a blessing you are!

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  13. Oh, these are so cute!! I love them. You are such an awesome grandma. Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent. I am so thrilled to have you share these adorable snowman. They look so yummy, too! :)

    Have a great weekend.
    Hugs
    Kathy

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  14. Adorable! I sent my son to school with popcorn "snowballs" for his class Christmas party! This is a really cute idea! You are such a fun Grandma!!

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  15. Hi! Stopping by to let you know that I featured these adorable snowmen tonight at A Bouquet of Talent - Pick of the Bunch! Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you so much for sharing. :)

    Kathy

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  16. Thank you so much for stopping in and sharing your inspirational project with our Crafty Showcase last week! You rock!

    We can't wait for you to stop in and share more of your ideas with us. The Crafty Showcase is open from Friday midnight until Thursday noon! http://bowdabrablog.com/2013/01/12/saturday-showcase-craft-project-linky-15/

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Susie @Bowdabra

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  17. They really turned out cute! Bet the kids had a great time:@)

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  18. this is so much fun!! I can't wait to try it

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  19. oh these are really adorable! now these are the kind of snowmen that would work down here in florida! :>D thank you SOOOOO much for linking up to Kids in the Kitchen!

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  20. Looks so fun and they turned out so cute! Thank you for sharing it at Sewlicious Home Decor this week!

    Marti

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  21. Love this! We'll be making this next week. :) Thanks for sharing at The Gathering Spot. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  22. What fun!! What gorgeous grandchildren! This would be a great thing to make with my grandsons. I know they would love it. Thanks for sharing with us at the Four Seasons Blog Hop. I am pinned this one!!

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  23. Joyce, these are just as cute as a bug's ear, as my grandmother used to say. :) What a fun, messy, happy project! The pictures say it all- those sweet faces are just precious. I love your term "Black Hawk Grandmas"- right?? Thanks for sharing these at Treasure Box Tuesday! ♥

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  24. How fun! I wish my little grand ones were closer to me. But, Sammie might enjoy this too. Thanks for sharing at the party @DearCreatives hope this finds you having a great week! Theresa

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